SAN FRANCISCO -- Apple CEO Tim Cook had much to say about the iPhone on Sept. 9, when he took the stage to unveil the company's newest models. For automakers, the biggest takeaway was the feature he didn't discuss: wireless charging.
Automakers such as Audi, General Motors and Toyota are adding wireless charging pads for smartphones to their cars. But without a clear signal from Apple, it's a "crapshoot," says John McLaughlin, the national manager of cross-car-line planning at Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A.
Samsung, the No. 1 seller of Android smartphones, designed its flagship Galaxy S6 to charge wirelessly using the Qi charging standard, pronounced "chee." Microsoft has done the same with its Lumia. But if Apple were to adopt a proprietary charging standard for the iPhone, a sizable share of Toyota's customers could be stuck with a charging pad they can't use.