Apple has acquired the New Zealand-based company PowerbyProxi, which designs wireless power products. Specific terms of the deal such as the purchase amount were not disclosed.
The Cupertino, California-based tech giant was initially slow to adopt wireless charging technology, with rival companies like Samsung offering the feature in their phones for several years.
However, Apple joined the Wireless Power Consortium in February 2017, which develops the Qi wireless charging standard. Following that, Apple finally confirmed in September that the iPhone 8 and iPhone X smartphones would support Qi wireless charging functionality.
The company has since also revealed the AirPower charging mat, which allows for simultaneous charging of an iPhone 8 or iPhone X, Apple Watch Series 3 and wireless charging case for the AirPod headphones. The AirPower mat is slated for release sometime in 2018.
Apple may be interested in PowerbyProxi’s product lineup due to their capabilities, according to Jake Saunders, Asia Pacific vice president of ABI Research. Saunders told Reuters that some of the New Zealand firm’s tech supports power transfers of up to 150 watts through any non-metallic material for wirelessly charging industrial machinery and medical equipment.
Tech such as this could allow Apple to iterate on its AirPower tech to offer pads with the power to charge much larger products, such as laptops, Saunders said.