One of the more persistent rumors for the next iPhone (some call the iPhone 13) is that Apple will scrap the lightning port entirely. And with the launch last year of MagSafe charging on the iPhone 12 series, it’s not hard to envision a future where we rely solely on wireless charging to power our phone’s battery. An iPhone 12 on a MagSafe charger can go from 0-50% battery charge in an hour. This is hardly a replacement to the much faster charging you get with a lighting cable and wall charger.
The new OnePlus 9 Pro might hold an answer to the port-less iPhone riddle. For weeks, OnePlus hyped the phone’s cameras which were designed in partnership with the legendary Scandinavian camera company Hasselblad. You’d think the cameras would be the best feature, but they aren’t. Instead, it’s the OnePlus 9 Pro’s ability to wirelessly charge at 50W that really stands out.
This means you can go from an empty battery to a full one in about 45 minutes without plugging the phone in. What’s more impressive is that this level of fast wireless charging comes on a phone that costs $969, £829, which converts roughly to AU$1,490. To give you perspective, the $999 iPhone 12 Pro and a MagSafe charger top out at 15W. Imagine being able to wirelessly charge your iPhone with a MagSafe charger at 50W instead of 15W.
The OnePlus 9 Pro, like the Asus ROG Phone 5 and last year’s OnePlus 8T, uses a dual-cell battery that simultaneously charges both cells. To hit that optimized wireless charging, you need the which has two coils to charge each battery at 25W. The charging stand has a built-in fan to keep things from getting too warm and allows you to charge the 9 Pro in either a vertical or horizontal position.
If Apple ever did remove the lightning port from the iPhone completely, I realize there would be more than just batteries and charging to consider. Like what would come in the actual box to charge the phone? A lower watt MagSafe charger? How much would a 50W wireless charger from Apple cost? If OnePlus charges $70, it’s easy to see Apple charging $99 or $129. Would this feature just be available on the “Pro” versions of the iPhone 13 or would it be across the line? Also what replaces the data sharing the lightning port currently provides?
If Apple’s future is a port-less iPhone with only MagSafe charging, then the OnePlus 9 Pro and its 50W wireless charger are a welcomed proof of concept of how it might work. It solves perhaps the biggest concern many of us would have aside from how much we’d need to spend to swap out our existing chargers. And if Apple keeps the lightning port, the OnePlus 9 Pro illustrates that we should expect a lot more from the next version of MagSafe charging.