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Will Qi Charging Work if You Have a Case on Your iPhone?

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If you’re thinking about getting the Apple AirPod in 2018, you should probably find out if it works when you have a case on your iPhone.  But, like I mentioned in another post, you can charge your iPhone using any standard Qi wireless charger.  So does it work with those as well?  Given that it’s 2017, it feels like we are moving towards a more wireless way of operating, in general.  Which makes me believe that more and more people are going to head in this direction if possible.  But most of us also have cases on our iPhones.  So the big question about whether or not it will work with a case?  Another question that I’m sure you have is whether or not they work at all?

The short answer is that most of them will allow you to leave the case on… and that most of them do work.  What is Qi exactly? Qi standard is a method of inductive and resonant charging that works at farther distances than just directly from the transmission point. The Wireless Power Consortium notes that “With inductive charging, the charge passes between a transmitter and receiver coil placed closely together, usually only separated by the outer casing of the two devices (<7mm).” With resonant charging, “the transmitter can detect and charge existing Qi receivers at greater distances (up to 45mm).” Qi combines both. What that means is, a well-made Qi standard wireless charger should easily charge your iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, or iPhone X, even in a thick case, except if the case is made of metal.

Qi wireless charging uses a system of magnetic induction coils, which has a transmitter and receiver. If your case is made of metal, it might have a negative effect on the transmitter’s ability to send the signal to your iPhone’s receiver. I’ve read that even a small square metal plate, sometimes used for magnetic car mounts, can mess up your charging capabilities.

With the fact that the new iPhone’s support wireless charging, the Qi standard will become increasingly more popular.  Because of that, there are companies that will try to pass off their products as supporting the Qi standard.  But for a product to be Qi certified it has to go through a ton of testing in order to meet the minimum qualifications for certification.  Make sure you get one that says “Qi certified” or “uses Qi technology”.  Some non-certified wireless chargers will likely have wording such as “Qi compatible” or “works with Qi”.  This doesn’t mean that non-certified Qi chargers are bad, it just means that you don’t get the quality you would from a charger that is Qi certified.

Obviously, the AirPower will work with all of your Apple devices.  But, those aren’t going to be available for a few months, and we don’t know how much they are going to cost.  You might not have an Apple Watch or the AirPods, so the AirPower might not be necessary for you.  Whatever you do, you should do your homework to ensure that you’re getting a decent product.