Apple builds toward ‘wireless future’ with acquisition of specialized New Zealand company
With all the hoopla surrounding Apple’s groundbreaking Face ID technology, the divisiveness of the iPhone X “notch”, and curiosity over the A11 Bionic chip’s “superhuman intelligence”, it almost feels like no one’s talking about that other new Cupertino “innovation.”
There’s obviously a good reason why excitement is so low regarding the wireless charging capabilities of the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X, since this is the same exact feature dozens of Android devices have integrated for years now.
We’re still technically looking at Qi inductive charging rather than some revolutionary method to boost the energy of smartphones completely cable-free. The iPhone X, 8 and 8 Plus are even compatible with the same charging accessories as their Android rivals, and Apple’s proprietary AirPower mat is only headed to market next year.
But knowing how the world’s largest information technology company generally operates, we’re expecting this to be remembered as the first step in an industry-revolutionizing journey. To help with that mission, a small New Zealand business has joined an ever-growing group of Apple subsidiaries.
According to the little-known company’s official website, Auckland-based PowerbyProxi was founded in 2007 as a spin-out of the University of Auckland’s “world leading wireless power center of excellence.”
Specialized in the design and development of “safe, high efficiency and high density wireless power technology”, the firm brought in $9 million in Series C financing four years ago, ironically including $4 mil from Samsung Group’s VC arm.
As usual, the financial details of the acquisition are unspecified, but in a rare move, Apple did confirm the general deal through the voice of Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering Dan Riccio, who deemed PowerbyProxi’s team of engineers and industry pioneers “a great addition as Apple works to create a wireless future.”
It’s obviously unclear exactly how Apple intends to use the new technology and personnel, but for the time being, PowerbyProxi will continue to operate in New Zealand, presumably coming up with new and exciting ways to rapidly charge our next-gen iPhones without hugging a wall.