Apple is said to be expanding its Made for Apple Watch program to include third-party stands and docks for the Apple Watch. While we’ve already seen a number of third-party docks released for the wearable, this expansion would allow qualified manufacturers to include integrated chargers in their docks.
Apple will soon let manufacturers in its Made for iPhone/iPad/iPod (MFi) licensing program include charging pads for the Apple Watch directly in their accessories, according to sources.
It’s still early stages, however, so don’t expect to see manufacturers touting integrated chargers for a while. As of this week, the component is available in ‘sample quantities’ to MFi partners but official plans for accessories including the part cannot yet be submitted for approval.
It’s unclear when we could start to see manufacturers producing stands and docks with integrated chargers, but this is great news nonetheless. One of the big drawbacks for docks that have been released so far is that they require buyers to use the charger included with the Apple Watch — necessitating a design that incorporates grooves for routing the cable. With integrated chargers, it will be interesting to see what possible designs are opened up to manufacturers.