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I think iPhone wireless charging is actually going to happen

Updated May 30th, 2017 3:09PM EDT

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A new leak today adds more fuel to the fire of rumors surrounding the iPhone 8. We’ve already had numerous looks at the physical design of the device, which appears to be an edge-to-edge display with prominent dual rear cameras.

But one thing that’s seen far less attention are the internals. Sure, we can safely assume that the iPhone 8 will have Apple’s fastest and most power-efficient processor ever, because that’s what happens every year. But there’s also the possibility that Apple might finally add a feature that Android devices have had for years: wireless charging.

The new leak comes from Benjamin Geskin, a Twitter leaker with a mostly solid track record. He tweeted out an image that claims to be a schematic for the back case of the iPhone 8, and it has a disc that can pretty much only be the coil for a wireless charging system.

There’s good and bad news here. The good news is that wireless charging is finally, actually, probably maybe coming to the iPhone, which is a long-overdue feature. The bad news is what kind of charging it will be.

A thin, flat, circular coil screams inductive charging, exactly like the existing wireless charging features in most modern Android phones. Inductive charging requires a coil inside the phone, which is then placed directly on top of a charging pad. The pad uses electromagnetic induction to induce a current in the coil, which is then used to charge the battery.

It works, but it requires the phone to be sitting in a specific spot on top of a charging pad, and it stops charging if you pick the device up for a second to send a text. Wireless charging tech hasn’t really improved (apart from charging speed) since it was first introduced several years ago, and everyone just assumed that Apple was waiting until the tech improved to add it to the iPhone.

Now, it’s possible that Apple has some small innovation that makes wireless induction charging more efficient, faster, or perhaps give it a wider radius for functioning. But it’s unlikely that you could make that kind of innovation without changing the antenna at all. Of course, it’s always possible that the leak is fake, and we’re not getting any kind of wireless charging at all.

Chris Mills
Chris Mills News Editor

Chris Mills has been a news editor and writer for over 15 years, starting at Future Publishing, Gawker Media, and then BGR. He studied at McGill University in Quebec, Canada.