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Leak: iPhone 8’s major redesign paves the way for a new killer feature

Published Nov 23rd, 2016 8:40AM EST

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Apple’s next-gen iPhone is expected to feature a major redesign, with at least one of the three iPhones due next year tipped to sport an all-screen design featuring an OLED display. As strange as it may sound, that might not even be the most exciting feature of the iPhone 8. A new report from the most reliable Apple insider in the world says that what may turn out to be a game-changing Apple innovation is responsible for the major redesign of next year’s iPhone 8.

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The 2017 iPhone is expected to feature wireless charging, but possibly not the “boring” type of wireless charging that’s currently seen in various top Android devices. If reports are accurate about the company’s increased interest in Energous, Apple is looking to bring in a brand new type of wireless charging to the market.

Current wireless chargers consist of a base that’s plugged into a power source. The phone needs to be touching that base in order to charge, which makes usage rather limited. The rumored technology Apple is working on would charge the iPhone from across the room. That means you’d be able to use the phone, or even keep it in your pocket, and the battery would still charge wirelessly.

Respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo issued a new note to clients that says the iPhone 8 will come with a glass body in order to support wireless charging. Kuo doesn’t say anything about Energous, but regardless of what wireless charging tech Apple goes for, it’ll still need to dump metal in favor of glass for iPhone 8 cases.

“We believe one of the reasons why new iPhones will switch from metal casing to glass casing is to support wireless charging,” Kuo said in the note obtained by MacRumors. “In order to ensure a superior performance, we believe it is most appropriate for EMS suppliers to develop and make the wireless charger because then a comprehensive test can be conducted. As Hon Hai needs to deploy most resources to develop and produce OLED iPhone, we expect Pegatron will be the exclusive supplier of the wireless charger.”

Kuo said in previous research notes that Apple would sell three distinct iPhone models this year, including a 5.8-inch iPhone 8 with an OLED display, and two “regular” versions with 4.7- and 5.5-inch LCD screens.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.