|WattUp Software Screenshot|
Gadgethemes.com - This year, one of the biggest features expected to be coming to the Apple "iPhone 8" is wireless charging. Rumors were floating around back in November that Apple was specifically going to implement a receiver into the iPhone 8 so that it could be charged using a plugged-in transmitter up to 15 feet away rather than requiring the usage of a wireless charging pad. What makes the iPhone 8 wireless charging rumor even more credible is an interview that The Verge conducted with Energous CEO Steve Rizzone.
The rollout of Energous’ wireless charging technology has been highly anticipated for a couple of years, but it is not quite ready yet. Prior to the start of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week, Energous CEO Steve Rizzone told The Verge that its wireless charging transmitters are set to begin shipping by the end of 2017. This is about two years later than expected because Energous said something similar when they attended CES in 2015. Why the delay? Apparently, Energous’ plan changed once a “key strategic partnership” was signed one month after CES 2015.
Energous did not say who exactly its partner was. But The Verge learned that Energous gave its partner the right to be the first to ship the long-distance wireless charging technology in smartphones, tablets, laptops and wearables. So Energous’ plan to release battery phone cases was shelved following the signed partnership.
Is there proof that Energous is Apple's partner for long distance wireless charging? One of the biggest hints is that The Verge was told in the interview that Energous' partnership is with “one of the largest consumer electronic companies in the world. I cannot tell you who it is, but I can virtual guarantee that you have products from this company on your person, sitting on your desk, or at home.”
Aside from the partnership, Energous is also working on a standalone wireless charging technology product known as WattUp:
Even though Energous is not quite ready to start shipping wireless transmitters, it is ready to start selling its wireless charging pads. Wireless charging pads are hardly unique nowadays. But Energous’ wireless charging pads will also be compatible with its future wireless transmitter products -- which is a great selling point for early adopters.
Relationship Between Apple and Energous
What else is known about the relationship between Apple and Energous? Back in September, VentureBeat pointed out that the Form S-1 Energous filed with the SEC in March 2014 specifically said its products are expected to undergo FCC, California Energy Star and "Apple compliance testing." And last month, Rizzone also told Fast Company that the company is transferring all of its silicon operations to Dialog Semiconductor. And all the Energous technology will be sold under the Dialog branding. As part of that deal, Dialog would invest $10 million to become the exclusive component supplier. Dialog Semiconductor is known for being a Apple chip supplier so Energous would likely be able to reap that benefit. Plus Energous and major Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn announced an agreement about a year ago to evaluate the WattUp technology to “determine the suitability for future Foxconn products and solutions.”
Rumored Features About The 2017 iPhone
There are a number of rumored iPhone 8 features that have been discussed for more than a year now, but none of them are set in stone. For example, some sources said Apple's flagship smartphone in 2017 will be called the iPhone 7S instead of the iPhone 8. But the reasoning why Apple analysts are expecting it to be called the "iPhone 8" instead of the "iPhone 7S" is because this would be the 10 year anniversary of the smartphone and it will be radically redesigned -- which justifies the skipping of the "S" moniker.
According to Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, Apple is also said to be switching from an aluminum chassis to glass unibody for the iPhone 8. Apple used a glass chassis in its fourth generation of iPhones, but then switched over to aluminum after that. Apple’s decision to switch to a glass casing would facilitate the ability wireless charge the devices at faster speeds without frequency interference.
There are rumors that Apple will offer three options of the iPhone 8, including a 5.8-inch OLED model. The OLED display is expected to be edge-to-edge like the Xiaomi Mi Mix. The physical home button is rumored to be replaced with a virtual one built into the display. And the iPhone 8 will likely contain a powerful A11 chip, which is expected to be at least 15-20% faster than the A10 Fusion chip in the iPhone 7.
Another exciting iPhone 8 rumor is about the camera. According to sources with Mac Otakara (translated), at least a couple iPhone 8 models will have dual cameras. This would be a refreshing change from 2016 where only the iPhone 7 Plus model shipped with dual cameras, but the smaller iPhone 7 did not. And in the case of the 2017 iPhones, Mac Otakara suggested that the cameras will be arranged vertically rather than horizontally. If the dual cameras in the iPhone 8 were going to be vertical, then I imagine that the back of the devices would look similar to the Huawei Mate 9.
It will definitely be interesting to see what Apple actually includes in the iPhone 8 versus what the rumor mills have been telling us. The anticipation will only continue to grow until September 2017.
Source : Forbes