Apple supplier Foxconn has reportedly started work manufacturing wireless charging modules for the 2017-era iPhone refresh, according to a new report citing an “industry source familiar with the matter.”
Wireless charging has long been discussed as an innovation Apple may want to get involved with, with rival companies like Samsung mocking the iPhone for lagging behind on the technology.
However, Apple has reportedly held off on embracing wireless charging tech for the iPhone based on its desire to move beyond the charging mats used by current smartphones and into true wireless charging.
Earlier this year, a report from Bloomberg said that Apple was working with partners to overcome technical barriers with this technology, including loss of power over distance. Apple is said to have made a number of hires (more than a dozen people, including two former uBeam engineers with expertise in wireless charging and ultrasonic technology) related to the technology.
Today’s report adds to that speculation. Don’t get too excited, though: whether or not the feature makes it into next year’s tenth-birthday iPhone depends on whether Foxconn can “boost the yield rate [of the necessary wireless charging modules] to a satisfactory level.”
As we saw a couple of years ago with the reported sapphire display for the iPhone 6, just because Apple is interested in a technology doesn’t mean there’s any guarantee it will arrive. If Apple’s suppliers can’t meet the quantity demands, for instance, the feature could be dropped — or made an exclusive to just one model of the next iPhone.
Next year’s iPhone is already shaping up to a big one, with a new third display size between the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models, an all-glass back, OLED display and more.
Would wireless charging be a big deal to you when determining whether you buy next year’s iPhone? Leave your comments below.