KEY POINTS

  • Apple recently released the new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro
  • The devices can be charged via the new Magsafe charger
  • An FCC filing suggests that the new iPhones will also use MagSafe to charge accessories

Apple's new iPhone 12 models could have an inactive wireless charging feature for accessories, an FCC filing has suggested.

Apple recently released the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro, which come with new and improved specs and features and offer a new wireless charging method in the form of the MagSafe charger. But they seemed to lack one interesting capability that has been present in some rival smartphones for a while: reverse wireless charging.

However, an FCC filing, spotted by VentureBeat's Jeremy Horwitz, revealed that the 2020 iPhone models – the iPhone 12 series – “also support WPT charging function at 360KHz to charge accessories.”

The filing, a screenshot of which was uploaded to Twitter by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, also said, “Currently the only accessory that can be charged by iPhones is an external potential apple (sic) accessory in the future.”

This suggests that Apple's new iPhone models will be capable of wirelessly charging the upcoming third-gen AirPods and second-gen AirPods Pro, both of which are slated to arrive during the first half of next year.

The filing revealed that while the reverse wireless charging feature was only meant to work “when the phone is connected to an AC power outlet,” it is also envisioned to work while users are “making a call or texting.”

In order for it to work this way, the future accessory and the iPhones will be “held in place by magnets,” the filing said. This indicates that the accessories might feature MagSafe to be able to attach to the back of the new iPhones in order to charge on the go.

Meanwhile, other devices such as Samsung's offer wireless PowerShare currently allow users to charge accessories such as wireless earbuds on the go, without having to plug into a power outlet or a powerbank. The smartphone itself charges the accessory using its own battery.

Fans expected Apple to introduce reverse wireless charging with the iPhone 11 series last year, but the tech company didn't deliver.

Teardown and repair site iFixit disassembled an iPhone 11 Pro Max last year and found that while some of the components needed for the feature were present in the device, the system was unfinished and was unable to work.

iPhone-12-magsafe This futuristic technology is an exciting part of the phone's appeal. Photo: PhoneArena