Don't see it happening
How can they sell lots of adapters if there are zero sockets to insert them into? A switch from lighting to USB C or some other connector would allow them to sell lots of new adapters.
Ming-Chi Kuo, the analyst widely regarded as the most accurate soothsayer when it comes to Apple's product intentions, reckons it's lights out for the Lightning cable. According to his report published late last week, Cupertino will ditch it on some models in 2021 for a totally wireless experience. Such a move would allow …
This is what I have often wondered. Which costs more to charge up - a phone on a cable attached to a plug. Or a phone on a wireless charging pad?
We have one side of society telling us to save on power use. Save on resources. Go Green. And then we have idiots in the phone companies making everything use more power and resources.
A phone with headphones attached, attached to a wall charger surely is more environmental that these mental ideas of wireless everything.
"Which costs more to charge up - a phone on a cable attached to a plug. Or a phone on a wireless charging pad?"
A phone on a wireless charging pad costs more. How efficient inductive charging (or wall warts, for that matter) is can vary depending on the design decisions made, but if we compare the theoretical best case for both a wall wart charger and inductive charging, inductive charging consumes about 15% more electricity for the same amount of battery charge. That's the theoretical best case. In practice, the difference is larger.
15% is a rather large chunk of waste. Everyday. Alongside charging up the headphones.
Suddenly a company will come in to the market and go Green and win a huge chunk of sales with a phone where features can be really fully be disabled. The average phone ticking away all that juice on GPS, Bluetooth, NFC, WiFi, Faceache updates, Twattering, always on everything, all the daft apps with their phone home extras.
I'm thinking those average phones - not El'Reg phones as we know how to kill this stuff on our devices.
I often wonder about them kids running around in the Extinction Rebellion marches. How many resources they are just chugging away as they walk around compared with the day of the old Nokia 3310.
A wall wart type power supply can well over 90% efficient, with a few at 96%. Older ones tend to be in the 70% range with substantial idle power.
On a abstract philosophical level I'm opposed to government intervention in the marketplace beyond basic regulations, but here is where reality runs into dogmatism. A big chunk of credit goes to Energy Star (and the similar requirements from other governments). Those regulations made a huge difference in the world. Few retail customers buy on the basis of power supply efficiency or idle power, or even think about it. But, thanks to those regulations, we are in a virtuous cycle of increasing power density and a need for increasingly efficient power supply designs to support that density.
My favorite easy-to-explain design improvement is that power supplies used to have a discharge resistor to quickly drain the high voltage from internal capacitors when the power was switched off. This resistor constantly wasted power, but only provided the safety benefit for a few seconds each time the device was powered off. Efficiency regulations motivated the development of a chip (really a chip feature) that only discharges the capacitor when the pulses of the AC line are missing for a few seconds. This chip costs much more than the simple resistor, but saves far more than that in electricity over its lifetime.
Bringing it back on topic, we put all of that effort into efficient power supplies but wireless charging is typically only 50-70% efficient. It's going to be overwhelmingly the largest waste of power in running small electronics.
They're not that inefficient when done correctly. Not that they'll win awards for efficiency. If you want inefficiency: lots of individual transformers stepping down from 240V AC to 5V DC.
Once people have got used to wireless charging I can see them accepting this kind of change from Apple, presumably because it makes the phones 0.5g lighter or means 2% more space for the batter. No doubt the phones will come with a case-based adapter for being outside hipsterville. The important thing is that Apple failed in its attempt to impose an Apple™ form of wireless charging.
"If you want inefficiency: lots of individual transformers stepping down from 240V AC to 5V DC."
I have an idea, and it may be finally time to push it forward... (Sorry, Blighters, I'm assuming US wiring/architecture.)
1. Whole-house 5Vdc supply, centrally located next to the main AC breaker panel. Dedicated breaker for this unit, and onboard smart protection for the output.
2. All new wiring must be 3-wire (plus ground) instead of 2-wire. Run the 5V on the red wire (black & white remain AC hot/neutral). Hopefully the relatively large size of 12/14/16 compared to a 20/22/smaller USB charging cable will offset the lengths and reduce voltage droop.
3. Upgrade outlets to receive 5Vdc on a new terminal, with built-in USB ports but without the usual electronics. Maybe add a micro-switch (slightly larger than DIP) in the outlet surface to disable.
I would consider a return line (e.g. smaller, signal gauge like doorbell wire) from the farthest outlet as a feedback loop, so it can raise up the 5V bus as needed, but this makes it sensitive ONLY to loads on that outlet and nowhere else. Feedback from multiple outlets would be too costly, and open-loop control (e.g. raise voltage based solely on total amp load) might not be good for the loads.
I do believe building codes currently do not allow mixed AC/DC wiring within a single jacketed cable and would have to change, but I Am Not A Contractor/Home Inspector/Code Expert.
So you have 15 external hard drives in your living room - now I don't care what bizarre reason you have this, but would you consider your use case to be nor enough that electrical standards for everyone should be changed to have a 5v DC mains wiring system in every house (with all the issues and potential for safety problems that would present)?
Lots of things wrong with centralized 5V distribution. Let's do a few:
* line loss. 30 yards or so of 14AWG (yards 'cuz it's 'Merican Wire Gauge, dammit!) will drop 0.5V at 1 A. That's just two phones at "slow charge" rate, things obviously get worse with more loads or higher current draws. Yes, you can use voltage sense lines, but that only works if all your loads are at the same point (breaking the central regulator idea.
* also part of line loss: that 0.5v drop means you have about 0.5W lost as waste heat. Scale up as you add devices. This will quickly eat up the efficiency of a central converter.
* USB PD mode can be up to 20V.
* The centralized converter may be really efficient, but efficiency will vary depending on load.
* Running a 5V line next to 120 VAC is illegal, unsafe, and a great way to induce massive 60 Hz hum on your 5v line (along with any other induced noise).
But, if you want to run a centralized 5VDC supply in its own conduit, you can. Plan on about 2/0 cable to give yourself some headroom (about 3/8" diameter wire, use larger if you use aluminum wire)
Thank you -- this was the kind of boffinry I was hoping to receive in response.
"Running a 5V line next to 120 VAC is illegal, unsafe" -- hence why I mentioned building codes would need to change, but likely won't, and you state why.
"...if you use aluminum wire" -- NOW who's unsafe? [smirk] Too much risk of corrosion or worse by choosing the wrong connectors/lugs, bus bars, etc.
5V DC is a very poor choice for power distribution. It requires thick wires to avoid volt drop, and so wastes copper. Industrial DC power distribution often uses 48V DC. For the same power delivered, 48V requires about 1/10 of the current than is needed at 5V. Also, we can tolerate ten times the volt drop at 48V than we can at 5V, for the same tolerance on delivered voltage. This means that wires for 48V power delivery can be nearly 1/100 of the cross sectional area than would be required using a 5V bus.
Why not just use POE coming out of a switch? A little circuitry at the remote end to negotiate the power output from the switch and step it down to 5 or 12V? I've done this before with the "remote" end of the D-Link POE injectors. And not as many worries about building codes since it's LV. I mean, you're not going to be able to run any power tools off of it, but you could use it to replace wall-warts for electronic devices
And not as many worries about building codes since it's LV
Not so fast. Thin cables go glowy a lot quicker with a few amps than a power line, that is, for instance, why you should really ditch a lightning cable when it starts fraying. That is also why USB-C cables are chipped - they tell the power supply they can handle the up to 100W (I believe) that these can put on the line when the cable can handle it as less rated cables could turn themselves into nice little heating elements.
Just because it's LV doesn't mean you can't do stupid stuff with it. A point welder is also only a few volts, but the amount of current it throws out through what amounts to a short circuit is enough to weld metal..
Inductive chargers are terribly inefficient
Hopefully they can minimise some of the efficiencies by only having the charging circuit active when a device is detected.. It won't solve the inefficiency of the actual charging process but at least they won't waste power when there's no device present..
The wasted energy is dissipated as heat or stray electromagnetic radiation. The stray radiation will also be mostly converted to heat as it is absorbed by whatever surrounds it. And a very-very small percentage of that stray radiation might be converted to chemical potential as it is strikes and modifies the odd chemical construct (DNA?) in it's surroundings.
The energy has to go somewhere, so the fact that you can't feel heat suggest it is mostly radiation.
Hopefully they can minimise some of the efficiencies by only having the charging circuit active when a device is detected
Most wireless chargers do that already, also to avoid heating up non-chargeable metal things that happen to stray onto them.
That said, my concern is more with data transfer. WiFi is still a heck of a lot slower than cable.
This makes me glad that I've decided not to buy any more smartphones. If Apple does this, then it's almost certain that all of the other phone manufacturers will too, because that's just how they roll. The smartphone market just keeps getting further and further away from producing the sorts of devices that I want and need.
Not entirely sure about that...
As far as the insano-priced flagship models are concerned you may be right. Then again, sane people don't buy those things. There's a glut of [$currency]200 range smartphones ( provider-shackle free) around that can and will do all the use-cases for a smartphone quite brilliantly and efficiently. Quite a few models as well in that range that specifically provide [port] because people actually use them.
It's only the Gadget-stricken and the Fashionistas that need to suffer from the vagaries of the Designers' pipe dreams.
I agree to an extent, but the flagship phones tend to be just a little bit higher quality. My one trick (phone companies hate this, you won't believe #7 etc) is to get the previous flagship when the next one is released, and get it from a more budget company. My current phone is the Huawei P30 Pro, which I got when the Mate 30 was announced (replacing a OnePlus 2, which shows I work them in to the ground).
The P30 Lite is also a darn nice phone, but it doesn't have the IP 68 waterproof chops of its big brother, and its lacking quite so many camera sensors, some RAM and the Leica lenses. I got the P30 Pro for £150 up-front and £30 pcm (30GB data, unlimited everything else), which seemed just about fine to me.
I'm still reasonable OK with the phones (especially since the "latest" tends to make the previous top model cheaper, which is when I tend to buy them if mine is 2..3 years old), but I have only ever bought one original Apple case for a phone, and I'll never make that mistake again. Now THAT fully deserves the title "overpriced [censored]". Ugh.
Bluetooth audio is generally great as long as the device supports the codecs (the radio in my kitchen struggles with m4a encoding for example). You can get interference, theoretically from noisy wifi, more practically near HV cables (stations) but I find this minimal.
Wireless video is more sensitive because it needs more bandwidth but I find Miracast to be very reliable.
If you're getting frequent disconnects, my guess is that either you are near a source of bad interference, such as a power line, or one or both the devices have an old bluetooth chip that doesn't support newer versions of the spec. The improvement in bluetooth over the past decade has been surprising and admirable. Not that it's perfect now, but for many use cases, it is pretty good. Only your use case will decide whether you can, or would want to, use only wireless audio devices.
Wireless charging is sub-par, but hardly " fledgling".
A quick review of my purchases shows that I bought an add-on Qi pad and charging coil for my Samsung S5 in 2015 for under $3 each -- they had already hit the commodity clone end of the aftermarket.
The technology still faces the fundamental problem they had back then -- efficiency and power density is bad. You need a big coil and/or heavy magnetics. If you want better efficiency and faster charging, the size and weight goes up from there.
I don't see a fundamental problem with power banks simply including the charging pad into the case, but that's going to add a bit to the price in a highly competitive market. You occasionally see public wireless charging, but if anything they seem to be less common than a few years ago.
Bottom line: it's going to take a lot of "courage" to degrade the user experience that much. You certainly don't want to do it when your are using up your "courage" with another mis-feature.
I've got a battery pack with Qi charger built-in. It's inconvenient having to leave the phone flat on the battery to charge (especially when travelling) and now the Qi aspect has packed in altogether so I can't even do that.
I'll stick with a cable instead (but Qi when at home)
So the iPhone that I've had for the past couple of years will be the last iPhone I ever buy then. Loved the quality, but hate where Apple is heading in removing features.
Can't bring myself to goback to Android though, and Windows Phone was aborted, so it'll have to be a "dumb" phone next time around, and use it as a hotspot for my laptop and tablet if necessary.
Have a look at Android one: Android by Google, no bloat, only the apps you decide to install.
Runs on mostly mid-range phones, UI very similar to IOS.
I have a Nokia 7.1 and I wouldn't exchange it with an iphone anytime. Mostly because of dual-sim :)
PS: additional bonus, since this is not a 1.2 kE luxury item, you can afford to loose it somewhere and come back the next day to find it back. Try that with an iPhone !
An AppleCar will not come with wheels, or seats and will require you to control it from the iCar app. Of course being made out of glass it will require AppleCare cover and will require you to make a GeniusBar appointment for servicing, MoT or updates.
Prices will start at $100,000 for the basic model and each wheel will retail at $5,000. Seats range from the basic rubbery substance that they use for the AppleWatch through to fine leather carefully flayed from the backs of volunteer fanbois.
Only very few manufacturers are including wireless CarPlay systems.
I've not had a car system yet that didn't want to integrate with my iPhone, but maybe that's because all I need is the usual contacts/phone/media hookup which is supported on either platform. If CarPlay does anything more it's not doing anything I particularly need :).
"Wireless chargers require your phone remain connected to a single flat contact point"
This excerpt in itself summarises just how fecking useless wireless charging is. Guess what else requires my phone to remain connected to a single flat contact point?... That's right, charging it with a cable!
Wireless charging is only "useless" for those who have never used it.
I generally use wireless charging for my Samsung. A pad on my desk in my office, and a pad next to my bed at night. When I am driving I have a simple lighter cord that does the job if I need it. However, when I am out and about and/or working 20+ hours straight and the phone dies I have a nice battery pack in my coat pocket with a short charging cable. I can plug my phone into it and drop both of them back in the pocket, or plug it in so that I can continue to [ make calls | read my email | pontificate on Reddit ].
With wireless-only charging that becomes much more difficult. From the experience of laying in bed at night trying to hold my phone against the charger while I continue to try to use the phone is NOT convenient. Trying to do it while on the road would be next to impossible.
Okay, here's why it's useless to me..
My previous phone, a Samsung Galaxy S8, could not even receive enough charge to maintain it's battery life whilst using it as a sat nav in my car using a wireless charging pad.
Conclusion? Useless! Until Qi or whatever the latest standard is, can provide the same oomph as a qualcomm quickcharging charger's out put the technology is dead, especially as phones are getting hungrier and juicier in terms of power requirements.
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Apple tipped to go full wireless by 2021
And I've gone full Apple-less for quite some time now. Big deal.
The removal of the floppy drive from the iMac, the excision of the DVD-ROM drive on the MacBook Air, and the iPhone 7's absence of a 3.5mm jack all spring to mind. These changes were initially controversial – if not unpopular – but punters eventually adjusted.
Yeah, *I* adjusted by not buying Apple products.
That was my first thought too. No headphone jack or power cable plug would make a phone nearly waterproof by default. The catch would be the speaker and mic. To have decent sound in/out, you'd still need some holes in the shell. Unless, of course, apple displays some of their legendary, feature removing courage and starts selling phones which, not to put too fine a point on it, do not make phone calls.
This seems like the right move long term, but would also mean almost everyone using CarPlay right now would need to buy an adapter. Hardly any cars support wireless CarPlay.
Right now lots of people stumble across CarPlay when they plug their phone in to charge.
Needing an adaptor would make the barrier to entry much higher.
I resisted the temptation to move into iWorld until I needed some music apps to run in real-time (eg portable software synth). The latency of the Android devices made them unusable. iPads and iPhones are fine. There's a rich array of music apps - probably as a consequence.
Attaching microphones and midi adapters via Bluetooth has been a waste of time (measurable in lots of milliseconds) due to the latency of the Bluetooth connection and/or other overheads.
Will this drive musicians (at least the ones who have a day job and the associated cash) back to the clunkiness of Windoze tablets?
...until I needed some music apps to run in real-time (eg portable software synth). The latency of the Android devices made them unusable. iPads and iPhones are fine.
That's odd. Other than real time output quality that was able to be improved with a wired headphone, there's no latency issue here with portable synth app. Even a basic piano app had no latency issue. These were tested on a few android devices. Perhaps it's a specific cpu or audio chip issue? Try asking your friend with a better spec android device to try your app.
There are two concerns about latency... first was with a wired connection via a midi adapter to the phone/tablet running a software synth. The midi controller was an Akai EWE. There was enough latency to make playing through Android devices difficult. I tried a few different synth apps and Samsung Galaxy phone and tablet, also tried with a Xiomei phone which had reasonable specs at the time. Everything was fine with an iPhone 7 and iPad Air 2. I also tried to go wireless with a couple of different Bluetooth transmitters. The latency was horrendous. Android phones may have adequate performance now to do the job with a wired connection, but going all wireless on iPhones will mean inserting BT latency into the circuit.
Doesn't that just sum it up?
A long time ago, products were made to serve the needs and wants of purchasers and the customer was king. Now, the consumer is not king - the punter will take what they're thrown, shut up and get used to it or can do without. And that at a premium price.
I have an audio mixer that I use with the 3.5mm output jack. If I go wireless, then I STILL need a wireless adapter that has a 3.5mm output jack. Now matter how you may try to convince me, I have no other way to get the signal into the mixer.
A.K.A. if you want me to buy your phone, then you will include the 3.5mm output jack that I use on my audio mixer.