It’s a big year for Apple.
It’s the tenth anniversary of the first iPhone, sales for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus have been disappointing and it’s been a long time since a new model really pushed things forward in a big way.
But the signs coming from Apple HQ are looking good that the new phone – set to be called either the iPhone 8 or iPhone X (to celebrate that 10th anniversary milestone) – will feature wireless charging; a move that that, unlike the removal of wires from the headphone experience, is likely to be very well-received.
The evidence for this? Apple is now officially listed under the Wireless Power Consortium’s members list – a week ago, they were not on it. The Consortium is the group behind Qi, which is a wireless charging standard that uses inductive power transfers to charge without cords.
The Apple Watch, of course, already supports wireless charging, but the company has never officially announced itself as a supporter of the Qi standard, even though its watch charger is Qi-compatible. This news suggests that the company is planning to go all in with the new iPhone.
The new iPhone is expected to boast a lot of new features besides wireless charging, including an AMOLED curved screen, all-glass construction and a virtual home button.
However, the other two new models expected to land this year – the iPhone 7s and 7s Plus – will lack wireless charging and retain the aluminium design, rather than being all-glass.
Japanese blog Mac Otakara also offers more details on the exact type of wireless charging to expect: contact-based inductive charging, rather than any super-futuristic long-range charging magic.
Whatever happens, the much-anticipated new phones are likely to arrive sometime in September – and there’ll be no return of the headphone socket for any of them.
[Concept images: Imran Taylor]