Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn is reportedly making wireless charging modules for the upcoming iPhone 8, which is slated for launch in 2017.
The introduction of the wireless charging feature in the iPhone is part of Apple's efforts to revamp the iPhone design to boost sales during the handset's 10th anniversary. However, it is unclear if all iPhone models slated for release next year will come with the wireless charging feature.
A source with knowledge about the matter told the Nikkei Asian Review: "But whether the feature can eventually make it into Apple's updated devices will depend on whether Foxconn can boost the yield rate to a satisfactory level later on."
Earlier this, year Bloomberg reported that Apple was working with partners in the US and Asia to develop new wireless charging technology to incorporate in its mobile devices expected in 2017. The cutting-edge technology would allow the iPhone and iPad to be charged from farther away, than the traditional charging mats. Apple was looking to deal with technical barriers including loss of power over distance.
Market rivals such as Samsung and Google have smartphones supporting wireless charging that requires proximity to a charging plate. If the distance is longer between the transmitter and the receiver, then the efficiency of power transfer could decrease. This means the battery will take a long time to charge.
Apple was reported to be working with Energous that develops WattUp wire-free charging, enabling wire-free charging from distances up to 15 feet.
In May this year, Apple hired two former engineers from wireless charging startup uBeam with expertise in wireless charging and ultrasonic technology. In the past two years Apple has hired more than a dozen employees with expertise in wireless charging.
Meanwhile, recent reports suggest Apple plans to replace the metal casing of the iPhone with a glass back and a metal frame in three iPhone variants expected in 2017. The 5.5in iPhone model is likely to adopt curved OLED screen, while the other two might come with flat LTPS screen. Tai Jeng-wu, president of Sharp, confirmed recently that the iPhone 8 would have OLED display.