Apple is developing a new iPad Pro that will feature wireless charging capabilities, reports Bloomberg. The upcoming iPad Pro will debut in 2022, following the updated M1 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models that launched in May 2021.
For the new iPad Pro, Apple is testing a glass back instead of an aluminum enclosure, which would allow for the wireless charging capabilities. Apple first implemented wireless charging with the glass-backed iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X in 2017, and every flagship iPhone since then has supported wireless charging.
Current iPads still charge over USB-C or Lightning, but enabling wireless charging would bring the iPhone and iPad closer in functionality. Work on the new iPad Pro is still in the early stages, and Bloomberg warns that Apple’s plans could change or be canceled before next year.
Most wireless chargers are sized for the iPhone, so a wireless charging feature for the iPad might require specialized charging options, but Apple is rumored to be planning to use MagSafe if it does indeed opt for wireless charging for the iPad Pro. Wireless charging will likely be slower than charging through the USB-C/Thunderbolt port, which is expected.
Apple is also working on reverse wireless charging for the new iPad Pro, which would allow users to charge their iPhones, AirPods, and other accessories by laying them on the back of the iPad. There were rumors that the iPhone 11 would feature bilateral wireless charging, but it didn’t ultimately happen. Bloomberg says that Apple did indeed explore the feature for the iPhone, however.
Along with MagSafe charging for the iPad and reverse wireless charging capabilities, Apple is still working on a future wireless charging solution that works similarly to the abandoned AirPower charger, but it’s not clear if and when such a product might launch. For further in the future, Apple is investigating long-range wireless charging methods that work at greater distances than a standard inductive charging solution.