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True wireless charging, without the annoying mat, may come to the 2017 iPhone

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Jessica Lee Star/Digital Trends

Apple may add wireless charging to the iPhone in 2017, according to anonymous sources speaking to Bloomberg. That doesn’t sound particularly spectacular, due to wireless charging already being available on phones from Samsung, LG, and even Microsoft. What makes it spectacular, is that the phone may not need to rest on a mat or charging plate to accept its wireless charge.

However, before we get really excited, it’s not certain the technology will arrive in 2017. Apple is supposedly working on, “overcoming the technical barriers” for implementing long distance wireless charging, including how to deal with power loss when a device isn’t resting on a charging plinth. Therefore, a decision is still being made on when the tech will be pushed forward for inclusion on an iPhone, according to the sources.

Related: Everything we think we know about the iPhone 7

If we do eventually get a wirelessly charged iPhone, it won’t be the first time Apple has included the system. The Apple Watch uses a locked down version of the Qi wireless charging technology, just one of the standards battling for supremacy in the market.

The rumor also fits in with some of what we’re hearing about the iPhone 7’s design and features. Apple is supposedly going to dispense with the headphone port, and may want to seal the entire body for a waterproof finish. Saying goodbye to the Lightning connector port at the same time would be essential, leaving wireless charging as the logical replacement. However, the iPhone 7 is expected to arrive in late 2016, ahead of the Bloomberg report’s estimation.

Although the concept of wirelessly charging our devices without actually resting them on anything sounds like science fiction, we’ve seen evidence of the tech already. We checked out Ossia’s Cota wireless charging system earlier this year, which will charge up gadgets up to 30 feet away. Qualcomm has also developed a wireless charger that works with metal phones.

Apple rarely dives in and adopts emerging technology straight away, preferring to wait and put its own spin on things, making the wireless charging rumor sound at least plausible. We’ll keep you updated.