Apparently, Apple plans to make a port-less iPhone which only uses wireless charging.
This is something I predicted 7 years ago!
Qi - the wireless charging standard - is excellent. Put your phone down on a mat, or in a cradle, and it starts charging. Lovely! But there's a problem. You can't pick up your phone while it's charging. How many times have you lain on the sofa, cord tethered twixt phone and wall, while you watch cat videos and charge?
After a year of use, I'm convinced Magnetic Charging Cables are the future!
At the moment, you need to fill your USB socket with a small dongle in order to use them - but image if phones came with build-in magnetic charging zones.
Here are the main advantages:
- Use your phone while charging. This is the big one. I can be sprawled on the sofa playing a game and still charge. Try doing that with Qi!
- Less risk of damage. Stand up and walk away and the magnet decouples. Do that with a plugged in USB cable and you risk damaging either the port or plug.
- No data exfiltration. A pure charging cable doesn't need a USB Condom.
- A connection is guaranteed. I sometimes don't plug in a USB cable all the way. The magnets snap together which ensures connectivity.
There are, of course, a few downsides.
- No real standard yet. There are a couple of magnetic charging port designs which are incompatible with each other.
- Magnets are magnetic. That means they pick up stray paper-clips and other cruft. That can short out cables or cause other damage.
- Expensive. USB cables are ten-a-penny. Magnetic cables are more expensive.
- Lack of power. USB-C can deliver huge amounts of power very quickly. Magnetic chargers seem to go up to 3 amp.
I wouldn't go back to plain USB sockets for small gadgets. I'm a convert to magnetic charging. And I hope the world eventually comes round to the same opinion!