The iPhone 8 is either going to have longer battery life, or more power hungry components. Either way, the battery in Apple’s rumored OLED iPhone will be bigger, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
According to Mr. Kuo, Apple is using a stacked logic board that frees up more space for a battery inside the iPhone’s frame. Assuming the OLED display fits edge-to-edge in the phone, like he expects, that means Apple could give the iPhone 8 a 5.2-inch screen in a body the size of the current 4.7-inch iPhone 7.
Mr. Kuo said Apple had to make the logic board change because battery technology isn’t going to improve significantly over the next five years. He told investors,
Thanks to stacked [logic board], we expect the OLED iPhone to have similar dimensions to a 4.7-inch TFT-LCD iPhone, and have comparable battery capacity (equipped with around 2,700 mAh L-shaped 2-cell battery pack) to a 5.5-inch TFT-LCD iPhone. The battery life of the OLED iPhone could be better than that of the 5.5-inch TFT-LCD model as OLED panels are more energy-efficient than their TFT-LCD counterparts.
Mr. Kuo’s battery prediction follows reports that Apple is moving to wireless charging with the new iPhone. We expect that to be induction-based like the Apple Watch, and not contactless like the Energous WattUp technology.
Other reports say the iPhone 8 will include iris scanning for security authentication, and will be priced over US$1,000.
iPhone 8 Wireless Charging
Mr. Kuo says wireless charging will be a standard feature across the 2017 iPhone lineup, but a report from Mac Otakara disagrees. According to their sources, Apple will limit induction charging to the OLED iPhone 8 and leave the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus with traditional wired charging.
The induction charger base will be an accessory, which means wired charging will still be an option—and unless you shell out the cash for the charger base, the Lightning connector will be the only way to juice up your iPhone battery.
At this point, it’s a fairly safe bet wireless charging will be an 2017 iPhone feature. The real questions are which models will support it, and if the induction charger base will be an accessory purchase.
iPhone 8 MIA Headphone Jack Adapter
Apple made the transition away from the traditional 3.5 mm headphone jack easier by including a Lightning to audio adapter with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. It doesn’t look like that’s happening with the 2017 iPhone lineup. Instead, the adapter will be an add-on purchase.
Apple includes Lightning connector EarPods with the iPhone, and Bluetooth options are easy to come by. Maybe Apple thinks including the $9 adapter in the box was necessary for only one year. It’s also possible with AirPods and now BeatsX wireless headphones available in Apple’s stores, Apple is leaving the adapter out of the iPhone box as a way to push its own cord-free audio accessories.
Mac Otakara is also reporting Apple will continue bundling a Lighting to USB A-style charge and sync cord with the new iPhones. Lightning to USB-C will continue to be an accessory purchase.
Sticking with USB A for the Lightning cable is likely a sign that Apple sees it as more of a charging tool and not so much for syncing. Presumably wireless is Apple’s preferred sync platform.
What We Know So Far
Based on the steady stream of reports coming out, it looks like we’ll see three iPhone models this fall: updated 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models, plus a special higher-end anniversary model dubbed iPhone 8. We’ll finally see an OLED iPhone screen, but only on the special model.
Wireless charging is coming this fall. Despite reports of contactless charging technology, I expect Apple will stick with induction charging like it’s using for the Apple Watch.
Other features, like iris scanning, Touch ID embedded in the display, edge-to-edge screens, and bigger batteries are still a little nebulous. We’ll have to watch for more leaks over the coming months before deciding if those are legit features.