Here’s Why the Apple Watch Only Works with Official Chargers


You may be aware that Apple Watch uses the Qi wireless charging technology and does not rely on Lightning ports and cables unlike iOS devices. However, the device just won’t charge on any Qi charger, such as the ones being sold for $10 on Amazon. This is because Apple has tweaked the Qi wireless charging standard to ensure that the Watch only works with official Apple chargers and accessories, iPhoneHacks reports via The Register.

“The Apple Watch charger that comes with the device is Qi based, but the firm decided not to submit it for interoperability testing,” John Perzow, VP of market development at the Qi consortium, told The Register. “I think they are using version 1.1.2 of Qi, but the software stack has been altered so that only Apple’s charger works with Watch.”

This is somehow an unfortunate move by Apple since standard Qi charging accessories are becoming incredibly cheap. As noted by the source, you can now buy furniture with Qi charging pads built-in, which you can find in hotels, cafes and airports. And yet, you can’t use Apple Watch with any of them.

What do you say about this guys?

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  • It’s Me

    Usually, if Apple goes against standards, they have pretty good reasons. I’ve always felt that following standard just for the sake of following standards is dumb if it means sacrificing things like performance, upgradability, security, etc. But in this case, especially if they are just using an old version and if there is no good reason for breaking the standard, then I would disagree with them doing it.

    Going for Embrace, extend, extinguish is not Apple-like. That’s been a Microsoft and Google game and I don’t see the point here.

  • J. W.

    Probably did it for a few reasons:
    – Don’t want to worry about possible issues or warranty claims due to using a 3rd party charger
    – Want to keep a consistent user experience (e.g., it just works when you put your watch down on it on their defined positions/angles)
    – Possibly get licensing money from future MFi-certified 3rd party chargers (hoping this is the case; that way there’s a defined level of quality for Qi chargers with Apple backing it)

  • Widohmaker

    I have a feeling iPhone 7 is going to include wireless charging.

  • Tim

    They did it to make more money. Then they counted on their team and fan base to tell everyone that they did it to improve user experience.

    If they would have embraced the widely adopted version of the Qi standard it could have became ubiquitous with all types of integrated charging platforms everywhere; from countertops to desks to end tables, but alas this is Apple.

  • johnnygoodface

    Maybe with Apple Watch 2

  • Eastvanfan

    In this respect I think that Apple has always gone their own way with cabling , which, in my opinion has been a detrimental for the Qi standard charger because there is a standard no and ING people from having to buy multiple cables , chargers is not environmentally friendly.

  • It’s Me

    I don’t think they’ve always done that. They were one of the first to adopt USB. They tried to push firewire. They are promoting USB-C. In other areas, they certainly have gone proprietary with their connectors but generally when there was a clear benefit over common standards.