Induction charging question

Hardware & Accessories

To save wear and tear on the universal jack on my iPhone SE, I have purchased what I needed in order to use induction charging on it, and it seems to work great!

However I have a question that I'd like to hear answers from someone who might have first hand experience or got an induction charging pad with better instructions than the one I got.

From my electronics hobby when I was a kid 40 years ago, I have a basic understanding of how induction works, and that understanding tells me that the kind of surface you put the induction pad on can have an effect on the pad's efficiency when charging your device. In particular, putting the pad on a metal surface, such as the top of a refridgerator, could result in the pad not being as efficient as it could be. But that is from an understanding from 40 years ago and my memory could be faulty because I dropped electronics when I discovered computers and focused on programming instead. Or the induction pads might be designed so that what they are put on has no effect on them.

So I'm hoping somebody got an induction charging pad with better instruction than the tiny little piece of paper mine came with, that had advice on that kind of thing.




Submitted by sockhopsinger on Wednesday, May 9, 2018

I was under the impression that induction charging was only available from the iPhone 8 up. Would an iPhone SE be capable of induction charging?

Submitted by Orko on Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Yes, induction charging is available for earlier iPhones than the 8 and X. The difference is that the iPhone 8 and X have the induction charging receiver built into the phone. You just have to buy an induction charging pad to use it. Nice of Apple not to include it.

For earlier iPhones what you need to do is buy an induction charging receiver and pad. I bought mine as two separate products, but they may also be available together as a kit.

What the induction charging receiver looks like is a laminated business card with a small ribbon cable coming out of one of the short ends. This ribbon cable ends in a universal plug that is plugged into the universal jack on the phone and left there.

Typically these receivers assume you keep your phone in a protective case, because it goes between the back of the phone and the back of the case. I have a Body Glove Shock Suit case for my phone and the receiver fits very nicely inside it with the phone.

Once you have the receiver installed, all you do is put the phone on an induction charging pad to charge it, just like you do for the iPhone 8 and X.

Submitted by Orko on Thursday, May 10, 2018

I think I have answered my own question. In thinking about this further, I realized that there is a lot of metal in smartphones, and some of them have metal bodies. This isn't just about iPhones as the induction charging receiver I bought said that it was for a wide variety of phones from a number of manufacturers. Since the receiver is meant to be placed against the back of the phone inside a protective case, proximity to metal must not have any effect on the effectiveness of the induction process. So, it follows that the kind of surface you place the induction charging pad on should also have little or no effect on its effectiveness either.

Submitted by Orko on Thursday, August 16, 2018

Well, induction charging does indeed work for phones that don't come with the capability as long as you get an induction receiver for your phone. But as I discovered later, there is one caveat. Depending on the specific design of your phone, specifically where the antennas are placed, the induction receiver could interfere with the phone's ability to receive radio signals.

About a month after I had installed the induction receiver on my iPhone SE, I noticed that I was experiencing reception problems more often than I used to. This went on for about a month or two until I remembered the induction receiver and wondered if it might be the cause of the trouble, so I temporarily, so I thought, removed it to see what would happen, and the reception problems disappeared. So I decided to stop using induction charging and switched to using a magnetic cable.

Lesson learned, unless your phone is designed for it, induction charging may not be such a good idea. Your milage may vary though.