Wireless charging with Apple AirPower charging pad
Credit: Getty Images

Tech experts have already confirmed that cold and iPhone batteries don’t mix, but will iPhone wireless charging also cause your battery life to shorten?

 

Wireless charging for mobile phones was first introduced early 2015 by Samsung when they released the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge mobile phones, giving smartphone users the ability to place their devices on a charging pad and watch their battery replenish.

 

Apple responded with the Apple Watch, which uses wireless charging technology.

 

The Apple iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X all feature wireless charging technology and there are plenty of charging mats available for Apple’s latest devices. If you have an older iPhone and want to get in on the wireless charging action, there are companies that make protective cases that support wireless charging. Apple has plans to release an iPhone charging pad in the spring called Apple AirPower. 

 

Is wireless charging bad for the battery?

ZDNet tech hardware blogger Adrian Kingsley-Hughes suspects that using the iPhone 8 or iPhone X on a wireless charging mat will shorten the lifespan of your battery faster than it would with a normal charger that plugs in.  In the blog post, he used the battery lifespan stats found on Apple’s Battery Service and Recycling page which says iPhone batteries are designed to “retain up to 80% of its original capacity at 500 complete charge cycles” on average. If you live in colder climate locations, your battery lifespan is shorter. Using a charging pad, Kingsley-Hughes expects to reach 500 complete charge cycles in about 20 months, whereas, under normal circumstances, an average iPhone battery will take around three years to reach 500 recharge cycles, according to his calculations. 

 

Kingsley-Hughes explains further, providing technical insight on why iPhone wireless charging could be harmful to batteries.

“The issue is that when the iPhone is being charged using a cable, the phone is being powered by the cord (there is some load on the battery, but it's minimal), but when using wireless charging, the battery is what's powering the iPhone, with the wireless charger only being used to top up the battery,” he wrote.

“This means that by switching from a cable to a wireless charger, my battery isn't getting a break, and in turn, this is making me go through recharge cycles at an even faster rate.”

From a non-technical perspective, you might be more inclined leave your iPhone on a charging mat if all you have to do is set it down on a flat surface. Just from that alone, your device may spend more time charging than it needs to.  

Wireless charging with Apple AirPower charging mat

Will apple AirPower kill my iPhone battery?

Wireless charging or inductive charging seems to be the wave of the future because of its simplicity. All you need to do is set your phone down on a small pad or mat and your device will charge. The Apple AirPower mat will release this spring, so as of now it's uncertain if it will affect the lifespan of your iPhone battery. However, if Kingsley-Hughes’ findings are true, there’s a chance the Apple AirPower charging mat could shorten the overall lifespan of your iPhone battery unless Apple makes improvements to the battery itself.