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An iPhone that charges wirelessly? Apple supplier’s deal could pave way

It looks like Apple may one day finally entertain the concept of wireless charging. Energous charging, known for its long-range charging techniques, recently got a $10 million investment from Dialog Semiconductor, according to a report from Fast Company. “So what,” you might say. Well, Dialog Semiconductor is actually an Apple supplier, and gets a hefty three quarters of its business from Apple. On top of the investment, all Energous technology will have the Dialog brand, said Energous CEO Steve Rizzone.

In case you’re unaware of Energous, the company is known for WattUp, an emerging, long-range wireless charging technology that uses radio frequencies to charge devices from as far as 15 feet away.

More: New patent shows Microsoft working on Surface Pen wireless charging accessories

It’s important to note that just because Energous is now working under the Dialog brand, that doesn’t mean that it will implement it’s technology into Apple products or that it has made any deal whatsoever with Apple. The deal with Dialog, however, could make a future deal more likely.

There are also rumors that Apple is planning to integrate wireless charging technology of some kind into its next iPhone, which will be released in 2017.

Long-range wireless charging is advantageous for obvious reasons — instead of having to put your phone on a charger or plug it in, your device could start charging the second you walk into your house, and you could use it while it charges in the home. On the flip side, however, a lot of energy is lost in the distance between the phone and charger, so the further away a device is from the charger, the less it will charge.

Energous says its technology should be ready to ship in the real world at some point in the second quarter of 2017, but it remains to be seen if that will be a full version of the tech, or a more limited and close-range version.