iPhone X wireless charging is coming to a Starbucks near you

Starbucks' wireless chargers won't work with the iPhone X yet, but that should change soon.

Gordon Gottsegen CNET contributor
Gordon Gottsegen is a tech writer who has experience working at publications like Wired. He loves testing out new gadgets and complaining about them. He is the ghost of all failed Kickstarters.
Gordon Gottsegen
2 min read

Can't start your day without a caffeine boost from Starbucks? Soon you'll be able to wirelessly charge your iPhone XiPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus there, too.

Powermat, the company behind those black wireless charging circles at Starbucks, is planning to roll out compatibility with Apple's newest iPhones so you can put down your iPhone and sip your PSL while it charges. The news was first reported by SlashGear, and later confirmed to CNET.


You may have seen one of Powermat's wireless charging stations at your neighborhood Starbucks.


Apple is finally getting into wireless charging with its trio of new iPhones. And while wireless charging for phones is nothing new (premium Samsung Galaxy phones have had it for a few years now), this will be the first time we see it in an iPhone. Apple's iPhone horde adopting wireless charging may give the feature the boost it needs to really catch on.

Many of you may have already charged your iPhone at a Starbucks thanks to those little donut-shaped devices that plug into your phone's Lightning port. But if you have a phone that already has wireless charging enabled (such as the Samsung Galaxy S8, Note 8 and S7), you can charge it directly on the Starbucks chargers.

Intuitively the new iPhones should work this same way, but it's not that simple. This is because the iPhones support the Qi wireless charging standard, while Starbucks uses Powermat, which supports the Power Matters Alliance (PMA) standard.

So how will Powermat enable iPhone compatibility? Since the charging stations are actually connected to Powermat's cloud server, all it would take is an over-the-air software update to make them work with the iPhones. No exact timeline was given for when the update will arrive, but it is expected to roll out on a location-by-location basis. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus arrive Sept. 22 and the iPhone X goes on sale Nov. 3.

While certain Samsung phones support both Qi and PMA standards, the Powermat update may also be good for future phones that adopt Qi, not just the iPhone.

Besides Starbucks, Powermat wireless charging stations can be found at other chain restaurants, airports, universities and even in some cars.

Watch this: iPhone 8 debuts with wireless charging