The repair site is just now digging into the iPhone 11 Pro Max, but has already found signs of the bilateral wireless charging feature that was rumored ahead of launch but ultimately not announced.
The iPhone 11 Pro teardown found two battery connectors in the new iPhones, which is a first, and further investigation by iFixit suggests the extra connector is a direct line to the wireless charging coil.
With the phone powered on, we disconnected the lower battery connector and the phone stayed on and charged via the Lightning port, but not over wireless charging. Seems this extra connector is a direct line to the wireless charging coil, which could be an important feature for bilateral charging!
What’s more, when we reconnected the cable, our phone displayed a momentary temperature warning before returning to normal. We suspect it lost contact with an important battery temperature sensor and shut itself down; this sounds a lot like a reverse wireless charging heat management feature to us.
Bilateral wireless charging would have allowed the new iPhones to wirelessly charge devices like the AirPods, the Apple Watch, and even other iPhones. It was an expected feature for much of the 2019 rumor cycle, but just before the new iPhones launched, rumors indicated Apple had decided to pull the feature.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who often shares accurate insights into Apple’s plans, said that bilateral wireless charging was nixed “because the charging efficiency may not match Apple’s requirements.”
It’s not entirely clear if bilateral wireless charging is something that can be implemented at a later date if the hardware is in place, or if that’s Apple’s plan, but as of now, there is no two-way wireless charging option despite the hints of it in the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max.
iFixit has also discovered a “new mysterious board” sitting below the battery that could be related to bilateral wireless charging.
The teardown so far has also revealed a slimmed down logic board to make room for the triple-lens camera setup and similar adhesive to last year’s iPhones despite new water resistance ratings.
iFixit is going to be working on its iPhone 11 Pro Max teardown for the next few hours. Those interested can follow along on the teardown page for updates, and we’ll also update this article when new details are shared.