There are plenty of things to get excited about when thinking of this year’s new iPhone 8, many of them never before seen on an Apple smartphone. The handset is expected to feature a brand new design with a display that occupies much more of the phone’s face — the home button is going away, and the bezels will be reduced significantly so that a bigger screen can be mounted inside a phone that’ll be about as big as the 4.7-inch iPhone 7. Rumors also indicate the phone might have curved edges, a fingerprint sensor embedded in the display, a stainless steel chassis sandwiched between glass panels, and a 3D facial recognition scanner.
The battery, meanwhile, is expected to be bigger than before, and the iPhone 8 is tipped to feature wireless charging. But a new report suggests the Galaxy Note 7’s battery problems might prevent Apple from rolling out wireless charging this year.
Apple has been working with Broadcom on a customized wireless charging system, CNBC notes, citing a research note from JPMorgan analyst Harlan Sur. Apparently, the two companies have been working on wireless charging solutions for the iPhone for about two years. But Apple might hold back the rollout because of “caution around the battery-related recall of the Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7,” CNBC says.
Samsung stated that faulty batteries were the reason why the Galaxy Note 7 overheated, caught fires and even exploded. The company did not highlight wireless charging as a problem, but it’s likely all other smartphone makers, Apple included, are paying extra attention to smartphone batteries.
No other details were given about the iPhone’s wireless charging feature, so it’s unclear whether Apple will have a unique way of charging the iPhone 8 without wires.
Oddly, Sur went on to contradict his own prediction that Apple may be cautious and omit wireless charging from the iPhone 8. “We believe the glass back cover is conducive to wireless charging as it reduces signal interference versus a metal casing,” Sur wrote. “It is possible for Apple to add proprietary features such as fast charging or extended charging to differentiate itself from the pack and enhance the value of its own hardware ecosystem.”
Earlier reports hinted that startup Energous, which is developing wireless charging that recharges batteries from across the room, might provide wireless charging tech to the iPhone 8. Those rumors have seemingly been shot down, however.
Apple would not confirm whether the iPhone 8 will get wireless charging, but the company did join the Wireless Power Consortium last week, fueling speculations that it’s getting ready to adopt wireless charging in its products.
Meanwhile, highly-accurate analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said recently that all three of Apple’s new flagship iPhones this year will support wireless charging.