Apple joins one wireless power group, the other one responds with so-happy forced grin

You've seen this movie before, on Betamax, and the ending isn't pretty

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Sharp-eyed fanbois at 9to5Mac have spotted Apple as a new entry on the member list of the Wireless Power Consortium.

The Register cares not a jot for what this move may mean for future iThings.

But we do care that this decision suggests the rival AirFuel Alliance has its work cut out to remain relevant, because that may be useful when you are considering new kit for yourself or your employer.

The Alliance came into being in late 2015, when the rival Alliance for Wireless Power and the Power Matters Alliance decided they'd be better off fighting a common enemy – the Judean People's Front Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) – instead of beating up on each other.

Both AirFuel alliance members needed each other, because their combined installed bases were less than 10 per cent of the WPC's user count.

Apple has already signalled it prefers the WPC's Qi standard, adopting-but-crippling it for its wristputers. Formally signing up for membership of WPC looks like going all-in and at the same time making life hard for AirFuel.

AirFuel's gone a bit Black Knight in its hastily issued statement on Apple's actions, declaring “whichever wireless charging technologies Apple ultimately considers incorporating into its next-gen phones, this is great news for consumers and for the industry as a whole”.

But The Register has seen this movie before, on Betamax: standards that don't get traction don't last long. And Apple signing up for Qi is traction. Lots and lots of lovely traction. ®


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