Apple buys Wireless Charging Company PowerbyProxi
Apple, which recently said it was including wireless charging in its latest iPhone X and iPhone 8 smartphones, has acquired Auckland-based firm PowerbyProxi that designs wireless power products for consumers and industry.
Wireless charging allows users to recharge devices by placing them on a pad or other surface rather than inserting them in a cradle or attaching a cable.
Apple has been slow to adopt the technology, lagging behind its biggest rival Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and other mobile phone companies that have offered wireless charging in some of their devices for several years.
Apple’s interest in PowerbyProxi may be driven by the latter’s other products, some of which can support transferring up to 150 watts through any non-metallic material, for wirelessly charging industrial machinery and medical equipment, said Jake Saunders, Asia Pacific vice president of ABI Research.
This could allow Apple to offer much larger pads that could quickly charge multiple consumer devices, including laptops and even electric scooters, Saunders added.
PowerbyProxi was founded in 2007 as a spin-out of the University of Auckland. Samsung Ventures, global investment arm of Samsung Group, invested $4 million in the company in 2013.
PowerbyProxi will continue its “growth in Auckland and contribute to the great innovation in wireless charging coming out of New Zealand”, its founder and CEO, Fady Mishriki, said.
Original article by Jeremy Wagstaff, Reuters, October 25, 2017.