Apple buys Kiwi wireless charging developer PowerbyProxi

Apple buys Kiwi wireless charging developer PowerbyProxi

Apple has acquired PowerbyProxi, a New Zealand firm with hundreds of wireless charging patents and range of charging devices, including a modular 100W wireless charging system it claims is more efficient at power transfer than any other system. No one knows how much the former paid for the latter, but it's rumored to be in the high tens of millions.

According to Stuff.co.nz, the wireless startup PowerbyProxi was originally founded in 2007 by entrepreneur Fady Mishriki as a spin-out venture from the University of Auckland. No financial details were given, but it's another open secret that Apple is lagging behind its competitors in the mobile phone charging game. Apple is well-known in the tech circle for making some secret acquisition and projects. Senior vice president of hardware engineering Dan Riccio is quoted saying that it is "a great addition as Apple works to create a wireless future". Regular watchers of the Cupertino-based company will know all too well that it is usually rather non-specific when it makes acquisitions - see this recent deal for French company Regaind for a typical example.

The company will remain in Auckland, New Zealand, Apple said in a statement.

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Wireless charging works with the established Qi ecosystem, including two new wireless charging mats from Belkin and mophie, available from Apple Authorised Resellers.

PowerbyProxi uses magnetic induction and its rechargeable battery system includes the world's smallest wireless power receivers, which are integrated directly into a device using the existing shape of AA batteries. And like other startups, PowerbyProxi may be folded into Apple's existing teams, or chart its own path.

The recently launched iPhone 8, 8 Plus, iPhone X and the Apple Watch Series 3 are the first from Apple to support wireless charging.

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