Apple wants an iPhone to charge other devices through the screen glass

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Future iPhone models may not only allow for wirelessly charging other devices, but be able to do so through the front display, instead of the back of the phone.

Previously, the idea of wirelessly charging one device with another always seemed to work the same way. You’d slap your iPhone or iPad down face-first on a table, and then you’d place a heavy second device on the back.

You could possibly crack the display as you put it down. And you would have to be careful to position the second device so that it wasn’t wedged up too high by the iPhone’s camera bump.

Now, however, it seems that Apple has a lot more faith in the strength of its displays than users without AppleCare+ do. For a newly-revealed patent application proposes turning the iPhone over.

“Through-Display Wireless Charging,” is concerned with making the display be the charging point. It’s about making the screen be what you place the second device on in order to wirelessly be charged.

Apple’s patent application is specific about some parts of the idea, but less so about others. What starts out sounding like wireless charging from underneath the display — like under-screen Face ID — becomes something a bit less appealing.

“A personal electronic device (e.g., a tablet computer) may be configured to wirelessly charge an accessory (e.g., a stylus) through a display face of the device,” it states. “At least a portion of the display face may be transparent to facilitate display viewing.”

That makes it sound as if the ability to display anything is just an optional part of the screen. That wouldn’t make this workable as an iPhone, since the display is a somewhat crucial element.

However, drawings in the application suggest that what’s proposed is more of a hybrid display. A section of the screen could be enabled for wireless charging, and that area might not — just might not — display anything.

Given how the only group of people more keen on reduced bezels than Apple…