You’ll have to pay extra to enjoy iPhone 8’s wireless charging

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iPhone 8 wireless charging
We may have to wait for an update to activate wireless charging.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

iPhone 8 will finally bring wireless charging, according to one reliable analyst — but you’ll have to pay extra to enjoy it.

Although Qi charging technology is expected to be baked into every model as standard, iPhone 8 will not ship with the required charging pad.

On Monday, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has an excellent track record for predicting Apple’s moves, reported some big details about the big iPhone refresh this fall.

As some reports have previously warned, iPhone 8 will not feature a Touch ID scanner at all, Kuo says; Apple is expected to rely on 3-D facial recognition instead. In addition, the new handset will come in fewer color options than the iPhone 7.

Another detail that emerged later is that iPhone 8 will feature wireless charging. Kuo expects it to use the same Qi charging technology already found in rival smartphones from the likes of Samsung and LG — not the revolutionary field charging developed by Energous.

If you already have a Qi charging pad, you’re all set to use wireless charging when iPhone 8 arrives. But if you don’t, you’ll have to pay extra for one; Kuo says Apple will not be shipping a wireless charging pad in the box for free.

The good news is that Qi charging pads are everywhere these days, and you can pick them up incredibly cheaply (if they don’t feature an Apple logo). It’s not yet clear whether iPhone 8 will support fast wireless charging like more recent Android flagships.

It will feature faster charging over a cable, however. Kuo claims Apple will integrate a USB-C power delivery chip that will allow the device to pull more juice from the same 5W power adapter we’re already familiar with.

That’s welcome news for all iPhone fans, given that Apple’s devices are currently some of the slowest-charging handsets money can buy.