Apple Watch Charger May Not Be Proprietary After All

Apple often likes to go their own way. If there is a standardized solution that meets their needs, like USB-C, they may embrace it as they did with the new MacBook. Apple has also been known to work with companies like Intel to develop technologies such as Thunderbolt and Firewire. But other times, Apple is happy to blaze their own path, as they did with Lightning. Initially, it looked like the Apple Watch's magnetic charger might be as proprietary as Apple's MagSafe chargers. It now appears that the circular watch charger is based on the Qi open standard, although Apple has not confirmed this.

AppleInsider reports that at least one early Apple Watch owner has tried the Apple Watch charger with a Qi-based device and found them to be compatible. This could be great news, for Apple consumers and the Qi standard. There are competing technologies, like Duracell's PowerMat as well as LifeCharge and UNU. I've reviewed them all, and Qi does seem to have a number of advantages. If Apple embraces the Qi standard and incorporates it into future iPhones, that could seal the deal. Third parties like TYLT already sell Qi chargers so there would instantly be an aftermarket and customers won't have to pay $29 to $39 for an Apple branded charger.


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Author Details

Todd Bernhard's picture

Author Details

Todd Bernhard

Todd Bernhard is a bestselling (6+ million downloads) award-winning (AARP,,, Digital Hollywood, and Verizon) developer and founder of NoTie.NET, an app developer specializing in Talking Ringtone apps including AutoRingtone. And his profile photo is of the last known sighting of Mr. Bernhard wearing a tie, circa 2007!

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip or in his pocket, but over the years, Mr. Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62. In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.