An all new iPhone is coming soon, and it’s going to be dramatically upgraded in many areas, but only one feature is expected to be entirely new and now a major supplier has finally confirmed it.
Robert Hwang, the CEO of iPhone assembler Wiston, was speaking to reporters at the company’s annual shareholders’ meet this week when Nikkei reports he let slip that the “Assembly process for the previous generations of [iPhones] have not changed much, though new features like waterproof and wireless charging now require some different testing.”
Wireless charging was long suspected to be behind the iPhone 8’s shift to a new glass chassis, but this is the first time it has had such an official confirmation.
Hwang’s suggestion that the charging is ‘waterproof’ also makes sense given iPhones are already water resistant and contact based charging involves no ports. Not that I expect many users (though inevitably YouTubers) to put this particular attribute to the test.
That said the wireless charging Hwang discussed, while almost inevitably proprietary, will not be long range after that dream was shot down earlier in the year.
The slip is not the first Apple’s manufacturing partners have accidentally let details slip about the iPhone 8. Back in May 2016 Allen Horng, chief executive of long time iPhone chassis maker Catcher Technology, accidentally mentioned that the 2017 iPhone will move to a glass chassis. Something has now leaked so many times it is largely accepted as fact.
As such the only downside to Hwang’s wireless charging revelation is it will be yet another cost on what is already expected to be the most expensive iPhone of all time.
Previous manufacturing leaks have revealed other costs to consider are an extra $35 with the switch to a shape changing OLED with Touch ID doubling to $22 if it is integrated into the display. A further $20 increase for the introduction of “3D sensing technology” (expected to be in the camera” and up to $29 more for faster memory. This amounts to over $100 before adding in wireless charging and Apple’s profit margin (circa 35-40%).
So yes, the iPhone 8 continues to sound better and better. But so it should for a phone expected to start from over $1,000 dollars.