Foxconn testing wireless charging for iPhone 8

Will they, or won't they?

The tenth-anniversary iPhone may integrate wireless charging and include OLED screens, the latest Nikkei rumors claim.

Loose talk

Over the weekend, Sharp President Tai Jeng-wu confirmed Apple will make the transition to OLED displays during a speech.

A Patently Apple report tells us, “The next generation flexible OLED displays will allow Apple to invent iPhone displays that are curved or iPhones that could fold. Apple of course invented an iPhone display with curved edges back in 2012.”

“The Nikkei Asian Review has reported in the past that Apple has tentatively planned three iPhone models for the gadget’s 10th anniversary next year. A premium 5.5-inch handset is slated to have a curved OLED screen, while the other two products will stick with existing LTPS panels,” the report explains.

This fits in with expectation surrounding Apple’s plans for OLED, as far back as March this year we knew these display wouldn’t appear until 2017.

Wireless, or no?

Apple’s move to remove the audio jack may reflect a broader move to a wireless future, including the adoption of wireless charging.

iPhone users have wanted this for years, but existing wireless charging technologies demand more energy to use than plugging the devices in, making them environmentally damaging, which Apple won’t condone. (That’s a fact device maker’s currently offering smartphones that support wireless charging appear reticent to reveal).

This seems to be changing with a Nikkei report that claims Foxconn is making wireless charging modules that may feature in the next model, if the company can produce them in quantity at the right price.

Apple has been researching these technologies for years. Back in 2013 it filed details of a highly sophisticated wireless charging system designed to harness near-field magnetic resonance to put power inside phones, and the Apple Watch already uses such tech.

In March the NY Post told us Apple was working with Energous Corporation on a wireless charging solution.It is worth bearing these reports in mind given Apple’s move to adopt a Force Touch haptic Home button and a single Lightning I/O, as these steps mean the company is growing closer to new, completely wireless,waterproof iPhones.

Raising the stakes

Apple has previously been predicted to introduce three new iPhones in 2017. Millions of customers upgrading to iPhone 7 this year also include around half of those who purchased a Samsung Galaxy Note 7, according to IDC, so it is possible they will join millions of others on the iPhone Upgrade Program so they can also get the latest model next year.

Meanwhile, Apple’s recently released annual Form 10K promises the company will spend $16 billion on capital expenditure this year, at least some of this on new manufacturing process, testing and component technologies competitors cannot easily imitate.

At least some of this cash is going to be spent improving the company’s flagship product, as Apple CDO, Jony Ive suggested when he called iPhone 7, “The most evolved most singular version of the traditional design.” What comes next? Ive knows...

Google+? If you use social media and happen to be a Google+ user, why not join AppleHolic's Kool Aid Corner community and join the conversation as we pursue the spirit of the New Model Apple?

Got a story? Drop me a line via Twitter or in comments below and let me know. I'd like it if you chose to follow me on Twitter so I can let you know when fresh items are published here first on Computerworld.

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

It’s time to break the ChatGPT habit
Shop Tech Products at Amazon