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Wireless charging may be a key iPhone 8 feature according to unearthed regulatory filings

The iPhone 7 hasn’t even hit store shelves yet but there’s already some interesting speculation surrounding Apple’s 2017 iPhone, a device that will likely be called the iPhone 8. According to a investigative report from VentureBeat, Apple has been working with a company called Energous to develop wireless charging technology, presumably for incorporation into the iPhone 8.

After looking at Energous regulatory filings from 2014, VentureBeat discovered a particularly interesting document with a section called Industry Certifications. There, VentureBeat’s Evan Blass and Jordan Novet saw a curious listing that read, “Apple compliance testing.”

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“The conclusion here is obvious,” VB notes. “The WattUp reference design would only undergo compliance testing at Apple if Apple is evaluating its use in one of its portable devices. And the fact that Energous names the company so nonchalantly and unambiguously seems to be suggestive of a well-formed relationship between the two.”

While this isn’t necessarily conclusive proof, the circumstantial evidence is certainly compelling. Additionally, it’s worth noting that Energous told EE Times back in October of 2015 that it had nearly 20 outstanding development agreements with an assortment of consumer electronics companies, including an agreement with a “top five” consumer electronics company involving a product slated for release either in 2016 or 2017.

On top of all this, Bloomberg reported in January that Apple was working on a new wireless charging technology that may see the light of day as soon as 2017.

“Apple is exploring cutting-edge technologies that would allow iPhones and iPads to be powered from further away than the charging mats used with current smartphones,” the report reads. “The iPhone maker is looking to overcome technical barriers including loss of power over distance with a decision on implementing the technology still being assessed…”

Additionally, various patent filings over the years have detailed wireless charging implementations capable of transferring power up to a distance of three or so feet.

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 15 years. A life long Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW. When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.