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Dell could be working on the same charging tech Apple has been developing

Dell is working on a wireless phone charger for your laptop and it is similar to technology Apple has been working on for years. The patent was discovered by Patently Apple and first reported by TechRadar.

Dell’s technology works like this: a small wireless charging clip can be placed in unused space in the laptop, either on the palm rest or on the lid. You can then place your phone or wearables with wireless charging on top, and the laptop will charge it.

A diagram showing Dell's wireless charging clip for laptops
image credit: Patently Apple/Dell

Dell patent number 20220239124 is somewhat similar to Apple’s, although it differs in concept as the Dell charging clip would be a detachable accessory. Dell wants the charging clip to include a magnetic attachment that would snap onto the laptop in a pre-determined position. It would also need to be plugged into a USB-C port at the side of the laptop in order to work.

Apple’s patent, on the other hand, envisions the wireless charging plates built right into the palm rest. Users can place their phone, Apple Watch, and AirPods on the palm rest and the MacBook will charge them.

There are three patents for Apple wireless charging built into MacBooks, with the first one filed in 2014. The most recent one shows three charging points in the MacBook: two in the palm rest and one in the center of the trackpad.

Despite these patents, Apple has yet to release the technology and it is unknown whether or not it is something Apple is working on. The infamous AirPower concept, announced in 2017, was canned in 2019 after Apple was unable to fix overheating issues in the technology.

Likewise with Dell. The company has been tight-lipped about its projects and there’s no other indication that they’re working on this wireless charging clip.

It should be noted that Samsung launched a similar technology with the Galaxy Book Flex back in 2020. The laptop had a Qi-charger in its touchpad and could charge compatible smartphones and earbuds wirelessly.

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Nathan Drescher
Nathan Drescher is a freelance journalist and writer from Ottawa, Canada. He's been writing about technology from around the…
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