There are always plenty of rumors flying around about Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) coming iPhone releases. Usually, these are based on information leaked from the AAPL supply chain, but on a very few occasions, Apple itself inadvertently tips its hand.
That appears to be the case with the iPhone 8. For several months, the 10th anniversary release has been rumored to feature wireless charging. Thanks to an AAPL move, that now seems like a lock.
AAPL Joins the Wireless Power Consortium
Business Insider broke the news that Apple has joined the Wireless Power Consortium (or WPC). WPC is an industry association that oversees Qi, the most widely used wireless charging technology. That puts AAPL in a group with over 220 other companies that are members, including smartphone rival Samsung Electronic (OTCMKTS:SSNLF), whose Galaxy S7 supports Qi wireless charging.
Apple does already use Qi wireless charging for the Apple Watch, but the company tweaked its implementation so it’s not compatible with standard Qi chargers. And it never bothered to join WPC — until now. That move is a very strong indicator that AAPL is planning to incorporate Qi wireless charging on a larger scale, and that points to the iPhone 8.
Apple confirmed it had joined WPC (although the confirmation isn’t really necessary given that it’s now listed as a member on the organization’s website), but it did so by trying to minimize the implications. A company spokesperson told Business Insider:
“Apple is an active member of many standards development organizations, as both a leader and contributor. Apple is joining the Wireless Power Consortium to be able to participate and contribute ideas to the open, collaborative development of future wireless charging standards. We look forward to working together with the WPC and its members.”
What WPC Membership Means for iPhone 8 Wireless Charging
Despite AAPL’s attempt to position its move as business as usual, joining WPC is a strong indication that rumors about the iPhone 8 offering wireless charging have been on the mark. However, Qi isn’t the advanced, over-the-air wireless charging many people had been hoping AAPL would implement.
Instead, Qi — which has been in use since 2011– uses inductive charging. Rather than plugging an iPhone into a charger with a Lightning cable, it would be placed on a charge pad. So there’s still a recharger that requires physical contact, and that recharger is still plugged into the wall.