The upcoming release of iOS 11.2, now available for members of Apple’s Beta Software Program, will speed up wireless charging on the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X.
According to a new report from MacRumors, all wireless charging on the 2017 iPhones runs at a maximum of 5 watts. The update will unlock 7.5-watt Qi charging for the Belkin BOOST UP Wireless Charging Pad and Mophie Wireless Charging Base.
The report claimed that when tested using a Belkin charger (sold separately by Apple), which provides 7.5 watts of power, the iPhone X charged from 46 to 66 percent in under 30 minutes. The same phone took more than 30 minutes to get from 40 percent to 60 percent while charging wirelessly on a Qi pad.
7.5-watt is an officially supported mode for Qi chargers by the Wireless Power Consortium but it appears Apple is using hardware identifiers to restrict access to accessories that it vets.
As to why Apple is being so restrictive, one can only guess, but their marketing for the high-speed wireless charging feature on the Mophie and Belkin Apple Store product pages may yield the answer. Apple writes that they use “Qi wireless technology to deliver safe, quick-charging speeds.”
The implication is that other Qi chargers on the market are not safe enough to deliver wireless power above 5 watts. Apple has previously come under fire for the dangers posed by fake Apple chargers, so there is a precedent for them to be cautious.
Apple hasn’t said when to expect a full public release of iOS 11.2, but it will most likely be out sometime in the next several weeks.