Nearly every other big phone brand has toyed with the idea of wireless charging by this point, but Apple has stood loyal by its (very expensive) cables. According to a new report, that could all change next year.
Nikkei Asian Review, a trade publication well known in the business side of electronics, is reporting that the iPhone 8 will ship with wireless charging, providing Apple can get the technology working in time.
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A source told Nikkei that Foxconn, Apple’s manufacturing partner, has started to test wireless charging modules for inclusion in at least some versions of next year’s iPhone. Whether or not the technology finds its way inside depends on how that testing goes, and whether Foxconn is happy that it can consistently produce good wireless charging modules.
It’s another sign that Apple is looking for a serious overhaul for next year’s iPhone, which will be launched right around the 10th anniversary of the first iPhone.
We’ve already heard that Apple is planning on an all-glass assembly for the iPhone 8, and possibly a switch to higher-contrast OLED displays. Adding wireless charging, if that happens, would add another standout feature to the new iPhone.
Whatever Apple goes with, expect it to make a splash. Apple’s year-on-year revenue declined for the first time ever last quarter, mostly due to a slowdown in iPhone sales. With the market fully saturated by lookalike smartphones, Apple will need a big splash to kickstart sales of its big, moneymaking iPhone line.
There’s another good reason for Apple to push for wireless charging: to kill the Lightning port. Apple has already demonstrated its belief that the future of headphones is wireless, by killing the 3.5mm jack port in the iPhone 7. If it can kill off the need for any charging cables with the iPhone 8, it could feasibly build the world’s first completely wireless smartphone.
That would also neatly dodge compatibility issues with its brand-new MacBook Pros, which don’t have any USB-A ports to allow you to connect your iPhone. As it currently stands, you can’t plug a new iPhone into a new MacBook to charge, and you can’t use the same pair of (wired) headphones between the two devices. Wireless charging could, in theory, help sort this mess out.