Apple Invents a Reverse Charging System that will allow accessories to be charged through the display of an iPhone or iPad
Patently Apple's first patent report for reverse charging devices was posted back in 2016 titled "A New Apple Invention Covers Inductive Charging Between iOS Devices & even a MacBook." Below are four of the original patent figures. Apple's patent FIGS. 7A and 17 illustrate how multiple inductive charging coils can be placed under the frame of a MacBook that could accommodate charging of multiple devices at one time.
Apple's patent FIGS. 18 and 20 above show how the lid or cover of a MacBook could be laced with inductive charging coils that could act as a charging plate and charge individual devices over a single coil or have sets of devices (iPad mini, iPhone and Apple Watch) being charged over multiple coils.
A few other related patents that we've covered on this technology could be found here: 01, 02, 03. Then in late November, Mark Gurman reported that Apple was continuing to work on a next-gen charging pad and reverse charging.
Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that relates to reverse charging, but this time, Apple has worked on providing the ability for users to wireless charge a device like AirPods through the display of an iPad or iPhone.
It's not as ambitious as Apple's previous patent about a MacBook charging multiple devices including an iPhone. It's limited to "accessories" that Apple describes as Apple Watch, AirPods and Apple Pencil (for now).
Apple states that a personal electronic device may be configured to provide wireless charging to an accessory. A wireless charging assembly may be disposed within the enclosure.
A tablet computer (iPad) may be configured to provide charging of a stylus through a display glass of the iPad as presented in patent FIG. 1 below. The iPad can include an enclosure defined by the top glass, a perimeter frame, and a back, with the enclosure containing components of the iPad.
The components may include a wireless accessory charging assembly including a core disposed below the top glass and one or more windings disposed on the core and configured to generate a magnetic flux above the top glass, thereby providing power wirelessly to the stylus when the stylus is placed at a predetermined location on the display face.
The iPad may further include one or more locating assemblies, such as magnets, configured to secure the stylus in the predetermined location.
Apple's patent FIG. 4 above illustrates an exemplary wireless charging coil configuration for a personal electronic device to facilitate charging of an accessory; FIGS. 5 and 6 illustrate shielding arrangements that may be employed to facilitate charging of an accessory by a personal electronic device.
For more details, review Apple's patent application 20210408826. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.