Apple has completed the acquisition of a PowerbyProxi, a New Zealand-based firm specializing in wireless charging technologies. The acquisition underscores the tech giant’s push to simplify the process of charging for its flagship devices.
Founded in 2007, PowerbyProxi has developed a technology that lets smartphone users charge their devices without plugging into a power source. Samsung Ventures, an investment arm of Samsung Group, invested $4 million in the company in 2013.
According to CEO, Fady Mishriki, PowerbyProxi will continue contributing to the great innovation of wireless charging from its offices in Auckland even with the acquisition. Whether Apple will allow the company to continue selling its products is still unclear. Companies acquired by the tech giant usually cease production as they are integrated to work on in-house projects.
“The team and I are thrilled to join Apple. There is tremendous alignment with our values, and we are excited to continue our growth in Auckland and contribute to the great innovation in wireless charging coming out of New Zealand,” said Mr. Mishriki
Apple has already jumped into the wireless charging business with the introduction of iPhone X and iPhone 8 all of which use Qi wireless power standard. The iPhone maker is reportedly planning to release a charging mat dubbed Airpower that will allow owners of any glass-backed iPhone or Apple watch to charge without connecting to a source.
It is however unclear how the new acquisition will strengthen the company’s charging capabilities wireless. Industry’s observers believe Apple may be interested in PowerbyProxi products that support the transferring of up to 150 watts through a nonmetallic material. The technology could allow the company to offer much larger pads that charge multiple consumer devices including laptops and scooters.
iPhone 8 models can be charged with third-party pads. However, the transfer of power is limited to 5 watts a restriction that Apple could improve on, with the acquisition of PowerbyProxi. The company plans to improve charge speeds via a firmware update later in the year an upgrade that could see capacity increased to 7.5 watts.