Before the iPhone 7 models were released, there were many rumors pointing to the inclusion of wireless charging, which obviously didn't happen. Now the rumor mill is back at it again for Apple's next smartphone, most likely being called the iPhone 8, and the possibility of wireless charging is more certain this time.
In a recent "Apple Insight" note to investors, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo indicated that the next iPhone will indeed include wireless charging, and it's not the first time he's said it. Kuo, who recently also predicted that Apple's augmented reality ambitions will be heading to cars, has proven to be a reputable source for Apple rumors, so there's a high chance of it actually happening this time.
So why has Apple waited so long to include wireless charging when Samsung has had built-in support for inductive charging—for both Qi and PMA standards—since the Galaxy S6 models? And why is more likely this time around?
As we've mentioned before, wireless charging is slower than wired charging, it doesn't work that well through metal (the iPhone 6 and 7 models have an aluminum back), and was said to be "more complicated" for users by an Apple Senior VP. So, there was no reason for Apple to "complicate" things when it planned on rehashing the iPhone 6's design for the iPhone 7.
But now, as Kuo has stated multiple times over the last year, as well as many other sources, the new iPhone 8 models will return to the glass backs that appeared on iPhone 5 and earlier models. While it's likely this new "all-glass" iPhone will look much better with a curved display than Apple's earlier glass-backed models did, it also means that wireless charing is almost a sure thing.
Samsung used glass backs on the S6 ad S7 models, among others, so it only make sense for Apple to take them head on in the wireless charging game. Apple just finally jumped on the water-resistant bandwagon that Samsung was known for, so it's not a big stretch that they will take another feature from Samsung next time 'round. They've also had some good practice with the Apple Watch, which comes with a Qi-based magnetic charging cable.
Apple is all about doing things right, so pushing out wireless charging tech before they did it right and did it better than everyone else, wasn't an option. Now that they've got some experience under their belt, and that they've been working on wireless charging technology with a beefed up staff that could possibly one-up Samsung with at-a-distance charging, it's most assuredly coming with the iPhone 8.
Kuo stated that Pegatron, a regular Apple manufacturing partner, will be developing and manufacturing the new wireless chargers for the iPhone 8, while Foxconn could pick up some of their slack—if they're not too busy with those new OLED displays.
The only question that there is now is whether it will ship with a wireless charging station or whether it will have to be purchased separately. My bet is that it will be sold separately as an extra convenience because they won't want to "complicate" things for users who don't care. Also, these days, they are all about the accessories game—Lightning to 3.5 mm headphones adapters, USB Type-C to pretty much everything else adapters, wireless headphones, etc.
But don't worry—they can't let go of that Lightning port just yet like they did the headphones jack. But who knows... maybe on the iPhone 10.
It’s Black Friday week in the Gadget Hacks shop! Huge sales on Bluetooth speakers, phone mounts, online courses, and more. The biggest discounts are on online classes, and we’ve hand-picked our 10 favorites for you. Check them out!