Apple might be trying to maintain secrecy around its 10th anniversary smartphone iPhone 8. But most of the details have already leaked, thanks to well-connected experts and supply chain sources. The handset is widely expected to feature wireless charging. Now KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has revealed that all three iPhones coming this year – the iPhone 8, iPhone 7S, and 7S Plus – would feature wireless charging.
Wireless charging to increase the cost of production
In a research note to investors (via 9to5Mac), Kuo said the wireless charging technology wouldn’t be limited to the OLED display iPhone 8. The analyst said that adding wireless charging would increase the cost of production, which Apple might eventually pass on to consumers. It corroborates with a recent report from Fast Company that the 10th anniversary iPhone could cost buyers upward of $1,000.
Kuo says the wireless charging module inside the iPhone would produce a lot of heat. So, Apple had to add a new graphite layer to protect the 3D Touch sensor. The graphite sheet would be laminated to the 3D Touch sensor internally. The iPhone 8 is said to have a glass back and a stainless steel frame. Kuo says the glass casing is not as good as aluminum in dissipating heat. It further contributes to a rise in the smartphone’s temperature.
Will you feel the temperature rise?
Fortunately, users won’t feel the temperature changes. The analyst estimates that the use of graphite layer alone could add up to $5 per unit to the cost of iPhone production. Other features such as OLED display and improved IP68 waterproofing could further increase the phone’s price. The iPhone 8 is rumored to have a bezel-less front with the home button and fingerprint scanner embedded in the phone’s display.
The Cupertino company is expected to use Energous’ wireless charging technology that allows users charge their devices from a distance of up to 18 feet. Sources familiar with Apple’s plans told Fast Company that the iPhone 8 would get rid of all the physical buttons. These buttons will be replaced by touch-sensitive inlays in the metal frame.
iPhone 8 to bring back the wow factor
These radical design changes indicate that after years of bringing only iterative upgrades, Apple is going to give the iPhone 8 the Wow factor that consumers have been craving for, even if it means increasing the price. The stellar sales of iPhone 7 Plus have proved that buyers won’t mind paying extra for interesting features. The 10th anniversary iPhone is also rumored to feature facial recognition.
Anticipating strong demand for the iPhone 8, Apple has asked its suppliers to start producing the device earlier than usual. Supply chain sources told BlueFin Research Partners that mass production of the device would kick off in June quarter. It would help Apple fix any manufacturing issues, and build-up inventory before the September launch.