Foxconn working on wireless charging system for 'iPhone 8,' report says

Posted:
in iPhone edited October 2016
Rumors surrounding a completely wire free next-generation iPhone continue to proliferate, with Foxconn now said to be testing wireless charging hardware that might see implementation in Apple's 2017 smartphone flagship.




Citing sources familiar with Foxconn's operations, Nikkei on Monday said the Apple contractor is producing batches of wireless charging modules for integration with next year's 10th anniversary iPhone.

Whether or not Foxconn's charging component will make it into the 2017 iPhone remains unclear, as the company is still working to boost yield rates to satisfactory levels, the source said. Apple ships tens of millions of iPhone units every quarter, and next year's version is expected to see unusually high demand thanks to a hotly anticipated design refresh.

Nikkei's report suggests wireless charging could be limited to a high-end premium model, reiterating rumors that Apple plans to reserve cutting edge features like OLED technology for a single top-of-the-line 5.5-inch flagship device. Last week, the publication issued a questionable report claiming Apple would add a 5-inch iPhone option in 2017, positioned between the 4.7- and 5.5-inch formats introduced with iPhone 6. Those claims were subsequently debunked by AppleInsider sources.

Apple has for years been rumored to integrate wireless charging systems into its smartphone line, but the technology has yet to materialize. Apple released its first inductive charging solution with Apple Watch and the Magnetic Charging Cable, a magnetic puck that draws energy from a USB power source. As with other wireless technologies, however, the system implemented with Apple Watch is relatively low-power and slow to charge.

Though Apple has not revealed future plans, evidence suggests the company is working on powerful technology that could enable long-distance charging. Beyond its own patents for inductive charging systems, the company recently hired two experts from uBeam, a firm developing technology that uses ultrasonic waves to charge devices from afar.

Most recently, reports in September implied Apple is on the hunt for manufacturers who can supply wireless charging capable of high energy applications like iPhone.

Along with a potential wireless charging solution, the so-called "iPhone 8" is rumored to incorporate a "glass sandwich" chassis with edge-to-edge AMOLED display.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,295member
    Work on such a device for all Apple products, MacBooks included.  It is going to happen.
    brakken
  • Reply 2 of 32
    irelandireland Posts: 17,617member
    Never a big fan of glass sandwich design of 4/4s. Preferred aluminium unibody of iPhone 5/5s/SE order of magnitude more. Hope iPhone 8 has aluminium rear. It's more durable and will never smash. As Ive has just said, different is easy, not necessarily better. I hope Apple has the courage to sacrifice the newness of a glass rear for the practicality of a more shatter resistant phone. It would still have a bezel-free design with all sorts of goodies anyway.
    edited October 2016 GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 3 of 32
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,603member
    Looking forward to an unbreakable all clear transparent and flexible glass unit that is self (solar and wireless) charging. 
    brakkencali
  • Reply 4 of 32
    Don't care about wireless charging unless they include the charging pad with my iPhone. And even then it's only very slightly more convenient than plugging my iPhone in, which is already quick & easy to do and has the benefit of letting me pick up and use my iPhone while it continues to charge.

    I use and charge my iPhone in 4 locations: my bedroom, my desk at home, my car and at work. I'm not wasting money on a charging pad let alone several of them.
    nolamacguy
  • Reply 5 of 32
    Sog, take the night off: Tim Cook has to go  It's an outrage.


    I'm not sure what else I want in my next cell phone.  Honestly, they're great as they are. Wireless charging seems like a good feature to add.  I like it on my watch.  Can't say I care that much.  The iPhone 7 really is a great phone.



    repressthisRayz2016irelandcaliwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 32
    xmhillxxmhillx Posts: 109member
    Don't care about wireless charging unless they include the charging pad with my iPhone. And even then it's only very slightly more convenient than plugging my iPhone in, which is already quick & easy to do and has the benefit of letting me pick up and use my iPhone while it continues to charge.

    I use and charge my iPhone in 4 locations: my bedroom, my desk at home, my car and at work. I'm not wasting money on a charging pad let alone several of them.
    You misread. The first line of the article says this is about completely wire-free charging. And several other areas of the article mention charging from afar, as opposed to inductive charging (i.e. Charging Pad).

    This means a charging hub that remains connected to an electrical socket and can send signals maybe 20ft over the air to charge your phone while it's anywhere within that 20ft range. In our pocket, sitting on a counter, waking past, you get the idea. It's not an inductive charging pad that's slightly more convenient yet significantly slower and inefficient compared to wired charging.

    I guess you still have the issue of buying several charging hubs, or whatever they'll call them, that'll cost way more than several extra charging cables. But with long distance wire-free charging, the benefits heavily outweigh the cost if you can afford them. If you can't afford $100 for extra charging hubs, then I guess wait a few years for prices to drop. Things cost money, good things cost more, and cheap things end up costing more in the end. That's just the saying; it's not a universal law of reality.
  • Reply 7 of 32
    brakkenbrakken Posts: 681member
    I'd love a completely wireless phone - no headphone jack, no Lightning cable - just complete state-of-the art gorgeousness! The iPh4 is still my favourite design. That is, if it all works as advertised, of course... the 150us$ Bluetooth earphones I have only work flawlessly if the phone is in my hand. Maybe the next generation will get it right (been saying that since BT2.1).
    repressthisbadmonk
  • Reply 8 of 32
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,818member
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelkanellos/2016/05/12/the-real-problem-with-ubeams-wireless-charging-tech-you-dont-need-it/#18b4899c486b

    The issue seems to be the commercialization of a technology that offers about a 5 meter range. Evidently, Apple thinks it is worth pursuing.
  • Reply 9 of 32
    netroxnetrox Posts: 743member
    tmay said:
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelkanellos/2016/05/12/the-real-problem-with-ubeams-wireless-charging-tech-you-dont-need-it/#18b4899c486b

    The issue seems to be the commercialization of a technology that offers about a 5 meter range. Evidently, Apple thinks it is worth pursuing.
    Read the article and I am not getting it - "Thus, it’s not really wireless. It’s cordless. Big difference. UBeam isn’t replacing the grid with an ethereal network. It is simply replacing ubiquitous, cheap and widely compatible USB cables." Huh? If there's no cord to connect between two devices, it's wireless, right? What else could it be?
  • Reply 10 of 32
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    "Plugless" perhaps but as the above image clearly shows. There still IS a "wire". Closing the hole might improve waterproofness but if it slows down charging? Deal breaker. 
    edited October 2016
  • Reply 11 of 32
    xmhillxxmhillx Posts: 109member
    netrox said:
    tmay said:
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelkanellos/2016/05/12/the-real-problem-with-ubeams-wireless-charging-tech-you-dont-need-it/#18b4899c486b

    The issue seems to be the commercialization of a technology that offers about a 5 meter range. Evidently, Apple thinks it is worth pursuing.
    Read the article and I am not getting it - "Thus, it’s not really wireless. It’s cordless. Big difference. UBeam isn’t replacing the grid with an ethereal network. It is simply replacing ubiquitous, cheap and widely compatible USB cables." Huh? If there's no cord to connect between two devices, it's wireless, right? What else could it be?
    That article isn't getting it. It thinks the point was the company trying to replace the world's electrical grid (electrical cables running on wooden sticks and underground delivering energy from a hub to your house) with something that emits enough electricity through the air to power everyone's home. But that's not the goal of the tech. The goal is more for small battery devices like smartphones. Hence the quote about "cordless vs wireless". On the energy grid scale, electricity gets to your house via copper cables and then the hub emits it wirelessly, so it's "not wireless". Smirk smirk. It's wireless in the smartphone scale. So don't listen too much to that article. It's retarded.

    Here's a more accurate, detailed one that's honest about shortcomings and reality:

    http://www.inc.com/kevin-j-ryan/apple-hired-engineers-from-mark-cuban-backed-startup-ubeam.html
    edited October 2016 cali
  • Reply 12 of 32
    xmhillxxmhillx Posts: 109member
    jfc1138 said:
    "Plugless" perhaps but as the above image clearly shows. There still IS a "wire". Closing the hole might improve waterproofness but if it slows down charging? Deal breaker. 
    The above image shown is the Apple Watch charger. It's not wireless. It's inductive charging. So yes it has a wire, it just doesn't plug into a socket. So port-less charging maybe?

    Yes. That's exactly why Apple used this on Apple Watch and not on iPhone. 1) a Watch is small so the lightning charging components were relatively big; better space saver with inductive charging. 2) Inductive charging is slower, less efficient, and not actually wireless. It's no better than wired charging, just different 3) You have to leave the phone on an inductive charging pad for it to charge. With wired charging, you can pick the phone up and use it. It's extremely awkward and impractical to hold the charging pad and phone while it's charging. So one step forward, two steps back kind of deal.

    I'm convinced that's why Apple doesn't put "wireless" charging on iPhones like Samsung and others do on theirs. It's more of a gimmick. How many people do you know or have even seen with a wireless charging pad? I'd venture zero to a couple. Like me. It's not that widely used, doesn't offer more benefits than drawbacks. Works for tiny devices like watches with tiny batteries that you don't wear to bed so the slow charge over night isn't a big problem for tiny mAh batteries. I think that's why Apple is waiting on tech like long range, cordless, actual wireless charging that charges your phone anywhere within 15ft away. This is what this article is about. 
    edited November 2016 netmage
  • Reply 13 of 32

    Well Apple did drop the headphone jack; everybody I know including myself, can't stand wires. Plus the Lighting Jack headphones sound so much better too, but they have already said wireless charging is coming next year on the iPhone 8, it would be great if they brought out wireless charging that didn't use a wireless charging pad, that would really be awesome. I do really wish they would have done that with the iPhone 7 when they ditched the headphone jack, it would have made more sense for some people. But it will be interesting to see what they come out with next fall. One last thing I wish they would include a close all function so when you double tap your home button to close apps running in the background, so you can just close them all instead of each one at a time..

    edited November 2016
  • Reply 14 of 32
    As usual with any "new" tech, first you apply that to small devices like smartphones, then you make it a bit bigger and enable EVs to be juiced up in that way, but a real deal and challenge is to make a box capable of charging entire set of home appliances. No more cords within walls.  That's the product worth developing and investing R&D resources in. 
    cali
  • Reply 15 of 32

    One last thing I wish they would include a close all function so when you double tap your home button to close apps running in the background, so you can just close them all instead of each one at a time..

    Probably because there isn't a good reason to close all the apps out of the App Switcher. People who do that are basically wasting their time and going through the charge on their battery faster than they would if they just left them open. 

    (Because they aren't "running in the background")
    edited November 2016 netmagexmhillxnolamacguy
  • Reply 16 of 32
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    I've had an idea of using the Apple logo for inductive charging like Apple Watch. 

    And yes those charging mats are useless but boasted about like "innovation". Problem is people use their phones while it's charging and they don't think about this while watching those Samscum commercials.

    williamh said:
    Sog, take the night off: Tim Cook has to go  It's an outrage.

    Funny he actually took the day off after this.
    edited November 2016
  • Reply 17 of 32
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,701member
    So what does inductive charging (as used in the Apple Watch) buy you?   I see nothing.   Actually I see a negative.  It is actually harder for me to charge my Apple Watch than my IPhone:   For the watch, I clean the crystal (because its been reported the charger scratches it) then figure out which side of the charger to use (not an easy task in a dimly lit room) and then carefully attach the charger to the watch and then check it to be sure its charging.   But, despite all that, several times I've woken in the morning to find the watch not charged.

    The only positive for the phone would be the elimination of the lightening port.   But, is that actually a plus?  I doubt it:  it would mean switching out my extra charging cables as well as all non-wireless headphones and ear-pods.  It would also eliminate my ability to backup my IPhone to my desktop.

    B U T ! ! ! ! ! !
    .... True wireless charging through the air without any cables or wire would be really innovative and new!   
    N O T ! ! ! ! ! !
    ....  It was done a 100 years ago!   Time for Apple to catch up to ancient technology.   

    Tesla, the father of the AC current that we use today, demonstrated a form of  wireless charging 100 years ago when he held an early version of a fluorescent light in his hand and it lit up from an energy source several feet away.   From there he proceeded to attempt to build a substitute for what was to become our modern electric grid by building towers that would broadcast electrical power wirelessly to surrounding homes and businesses -- much like radio & cell phone towers do today.  Unfortunately, he was never able to complete the experiment (or was it proof of concept?) after he ran out of funding...

    So, Apple!   Come on!   You're a 100 years out of date.   Time to catch-up! 
    clock07
  • Reply 18 of 32
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,135member
    Well as long as this is REAL wireless charging and not the fake wireless charging which is really just mat charging. Having to specifically place your phone on something which is plugged into the wall. It's not wireless charging unless I can actually walk around a room and have my phone still be charging!!! What has been released so far on other phones would be like if Wifi only worked if your phone was sitting on the top of your Wifi Router. Right now I just dock my phone next to my bed at night. I plug it into my computer to backup or copy pictures I want from it.
    xmhillx
  • Reply 19 of 32
    Sooo... are we ignoring a 7s? How is it we're going directly from 7 to 8?
  • Reply 20 of 32
    paxman said:
    Looking forward to an unbreakable all clear transparent and flexible glass unit that is self (solar and wireless) charging. 
     Just pour in a flask of unicorn tears once and it self-powers for the life of the device.
    edited November 2016
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