There’s growing evidence that Apple is working with Energous – a company which is developing a wireless charger that can work over up to 15ft, meaning the device it’s charging doesn’t need to be in contact with it.
In a research note from market analyst Louis Basenese, obtained by Apple Insider, it’s noted that someone who worked as Regulatory Certification Program Manager at Apple for seven years has recently taken a similar job at Energous.
While another senior Energous employee is a member of the same wireless charging ANSI Working Group as Apple.
Energous is also apparently aiming to release a mid-range transmitter sometime in the third or early fourth quarter of 2017, which would be in time for the expected iPhone 8 launch.
And Basenese speculates that the rumored move to a glass back on the next iPhone is further evidence that wireless charging is on the way (since it’s trickier to implement through metal).
A wire-free future
On their own, these things could be written off as coincidences, but when you consider existing evidence – such as the fact that Energous itself has previously said it’s working with “one of the top five consumer electronics companies”, and has partnered with Dialog Semiconductor – a company which primarily supplies chips to Apple, it starts to look a lot more convincing.
If the iPhone 8 does have long-distance wireless charging that could give it a massive selling point over the competition, and make wireless charging genuinely a lot more useful than wired.
That’s a big if, but even if it just uses more conventional short-range wireless charging it looks like the iPhone 8 could go wire-free, as it’s also recently been rumored that Foxconn is experimenting with the tech for Apple.
There are unlikely to be any firm answers for a while, but the days of plugging your iPhone in could be numbered.