Hardware News South Africa

iPhone 12 gains Qi2 charging after update, Android devices still missing new feature

Although Apple hasn't officially announced it, the iOS 17.4 update seems to have quietly unlocked a significant upgrade for iPhone 12 owners: full-speed wireless charging with Qi2 chargers. This brings the older model in line with recent iPhones that already boasted this faster charging capability.
iPhone 12 Mini is limited to 12W charging on MagSafe, but unclear if it is the same for Qi2. Source: Lindsey Schutters
iPhone 12 Mini is limited to 12W charging on MagSafe, but unclear if it is the same for Qi2. Source: Lindsey Schutters

Qi2 is the next-generation wireless charging standard developed by the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC). It's heavily influenced by Apple's MagSafe technology, offering improved efficiency and magnetic alignment for secure and powerful wireless charging. Qi2 devices can charge at speeds of up to 15W.

Apple played a major role in Qi2's development, sharing its MagSafe specifications with the WPC. The company officially introduced Qi2 compatibility with the iPhone 13 and 14 last year, and it's built into the iPhone 15.

Surprisingly, the iPhone 12 – the first to feature MagSafe – was initially excluded from this support.

Samsung, while rumoured to be including Qi2 and its associated magnetic alignment ahead of the S24 launch, hasn't included it in any devices launched in 2024. This could be due to the magnets reportedly affecting S Pen functionality on the S24 Ultra when some users used third-party cases which brought MagSafe compatibility.

Google is now rumoured to be including the standard in the upcoming Pixel 9 model family.

The discovery

Macworld conducted tests and received user feedback confirming that the iPhone 12 now matches the charging speed of MagSafe chargers when used with Qi2-compatible devices.

This includes displaying the 15W charging animation, a clear indicator of faster charging. Apple hasn't included this change in the iOS 17.4 release notes.

In the publication's tests, an iPhone 12 Pro Max reached a 50% charge in 64 minutes using an Anker Qi2 MagGo charger, just slightly faster than the 70 minutes it took with Apple's own MagSafe charger.

The situation is further muddled by somewhat contradictory statements from accessory makers. While Belkin, a longtime Apple partner, explicitly lists the iPhone 12 as Qi2 compatible, Anker's compatibility information is less clear.

Belkin Bootcharge Pro
Belkin Bootcharge Pro

Belkin's Bootcharge Pro is currently the only Qi2 charging accessory available in the South African market, but expanded compatibility – especially when the feature comes to Android devices – should drive demand and encourage other accessory makers to produce more options. Qi2 also doesn't come with the Apple licensing fees.

This unexpected upgrade for the iPhone 12 highlights the ongoing evolution of charging technology. It opens up more options for owners of this popular model, potentially reducing the need to upgrade to a newer iPhone solely for faster wireless charging.

About Lindsey Schutters

Lindsey is the editor for ICT, Construction&Engineering and Energy&Mining at Bizcommunity
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