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Is Apple (AAPL) Teaming Up With Energous Corp. (WATT)?

Shares of Energous Corp. WATT are soaring nearly 10% in early afternoon trading Thursday, and it seems that investors can’t get enough of the stock following the latest round of rumors that point to a partnership between the wireless charging company and Apple AAPL.

Investors have been suggesting that Energous and Apple are teaming up for some time now, but a research report published this week has fueled the fire once again by pointing to a former Apple product manager that is now helping Energous gain regulatory approval.

The employee in question is Billy Manning, who served as the manager of Apple’s Regulatory Certification Program for seven years. Manning left the company in May and joined Energous as the Director of Regulatory Operations in September.

Of course, it makes sense that Energous would want to bring on employees with regulatory experience regardless of their relationship with Apple. Gaining regulatory approval has been difficult for Energous, and although its wireless charging technology could be revolutionary, the company has to first make sure it works and is safe for humans to use.

Furthermore, a shuffling of employees is not entirely uncommon in the technology industry. In fact, companies like Apple often serve as “revolving door” opportunities for tech executives to move on to bigger and better opportunities. Apple isn’t associated with every former employee that works at another tech company.

Nevertheless, the connections between Apple and Energous are becoming too frequent to ignore entirely. Just last week, Energous inked a new partnership with Dialog (DLG), a chipmaker that is also an Apple supplier.

Also, a recent report from Apple Insider suggests that Apple is gearing up to release an iPhone with a glass chassis, abandoning the aluminum casing it has used for the past few years. To some, that also suggests that the next iPhone is looking to use some form of wireless charging.

At the same time, these links with Apple are basically the only thing getting Energous to move upward these days, and it may be the case of hopeful investors trying to make something happen that will inevitably be disappointing. There is no solid proof here, and Energous still needs to ensure that its products will work—and work safely­—before we get too excited here.

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