The Apple Watch includes a built-in lithium polymer battery (a few hundred mAh; slightly more than 3.75 V) which is recharged using a wireless inductive charging cable. The cable does use magnets to attach to the back of the watch; but the charging is still done wirelessly.

Andreas Ødegård points out in a 2013 article on the Pocketables website that:

  • Wireless charging is slow.
  • Waterproofing a micro-USB jack is hard to do, especially on a tiny watch.
  • The Pebble smartwatch "has its own proprietary connector. It’s a mix between a pogo pin connector and a magnetic connector, using two magnets on the side of a pogo pin connector to provide charging."
  • The Pebble watch's connector is better than a wireless one: it gives you the high speed of wired charging, is durable, and is waterproof.

It does seem possible to charge the Apple Watch faster by gaining access to its concealed "diagnostic port". But some disassembly may be required. Also, once you remove the diagnostic port cover, the watch might no longer be waterproof at all. And, I don't know enough about electronics to say whether or not such faster charging could possibly damage the battery or cause other problems.

Why does the Apple Watch use wireless charging instead of a magnetic wired charging connector?

Note: It's definitely not a patent issue, since Apple themselves are the owner of the MagSafe power connector patent.


closed as primarily opinion-based by Matt Young, Daniel Grillo, PeterJ, tcrosley, Ricardo Jul 31 '15 at 11:14

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Because now you have a fully wireless watch. Never underestimate the power of hype. \$\endgroup\$ – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Jul 30 '15 at 20:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ It doesn't use "wireless" charging, it uses magnetic induction charging ;) \$\endgroup\$ – DigitalNinja Jul 30 '15 at 21:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ Same reason people prefer inductive wii remote charging, connivence/ease of use. \$\endgroup\$ – Passerby Jul 31 '15 at 0:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Dear all: I have changed the question from opinion-based to fact-based. What do you think of it now? \$\endgroup\$ – unforgettableid Jul 31 '15 at 16:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ @unforgettableid the changes don't change much. This is opinion based because unless we have access to internal Apple documentation on product development, it's all speculation. It's enough to say Apple was content with the charge speed via wireless. \$\endgroup\$ – Passerby Jul 31 '15 at 16:17

I would suggest Apple chose magnetic induction charging for two reasons. Firstly aesthetics, no unsightly connector and secondly practicality since connectors can deteriorate get damaged and are a potential site for moisture ingress.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, for moisture ingress... \$\endgroup\$ – goodguys_activate Oct 23 '15 at 13:41

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