IMRAN TAYLOR • BEHANCE
iPhone will feature a new all-glass design, no physical Home Button, and dual-camera
Apple iPhone 8 could be missing one or two crucial features.
Not only will the next-generation iPhone reportedly ditch the iconic Home Button, but now one report claims the iPhone 8 will be forced to drop one of the most exciting new features rumoured for the device.
Apple is long-rumoured to debut wireless charging in its new flagship phone.
Rumours first appeared online last year that Apple had reportedly struck a deal with wireless charging company Energous, which develops a wire-free charging solution called WattUp capable of charging devices from up to four metres away (15-feet).
The WattUp technology can be included in a wide variety of electronics, including smartphones, tablets, wearables, cameras, wireless keyboard, computer mice, remote controls, and more, according to the company.
As long as any of these devices are within four metres of the transmitter, the device will charge its battery – as if it was plugged into the wall socket.
Apple iPhone 8 – Leaked photos, concept images, and renders
Sun, January 1, 2017
iPhone 8 is shaping up to be one of the most impressive Apple smartphones to date, with glass panels on the front and rear of the device, a curved borderless OLED display and no Home Button
VENIAMIN GESKIN • TWITTER • CONCEPT IMAGES
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Apple iPhone 8 will debut a brand-new all-glass look, with a curved OLED display and no physical Home Button
Although Energous has never confirmed it is working with Apple to implement the cutting-edge technology into the iPhone, it certainly hasn't done anything to dispel the rumours.
The wireless charging company has reportedly signed a "key strategic partnership".
Part of the deal means Energous' mysterious partner will be the first to ship with the charging technology inside of smartphones, laptops, and tablets.
Energous CEO Steve Rizzone said the partnership is with "one of the largest consumer electronic companies in the world.
"I cannot tell you who it is, but I can virtual guarantee that you have products from this company on your person, sitting on your desk, or at home."
WattUp technology can be included in a variety of electronics, enabling them to charge wirelessly
However a new report suggests that this type of long-range wireless charging technology may be overly optimistic.
Copperfield Research, a pseudonym for an unknown group of financial analysts, believe the futuristic wireless charging technology will not make it to market in the Apple iPhone 8.
In a new report, the group of analysts present a number of factors they believe will cause Apple to drop, or ditch the wireless charging.
First, it notes, Apple has filed a number of patents on wireless charging – but all of these focus on inductive technology, rather than the Radio Frequency (RF) system favoured by Energous. Apple currently holds more than 16 patent applications covering aspects of inductive charging.
Rival devices from Google, Samsung, HTC, and Huawei use inductive charging via the Qi open interface standard.
Current wireless solutions save you from plugging a cable directly into the phone – but that's it
Devices using the Qi standard, like the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, are only capable of wireless charging over distances of up to four centimetres (1.6 inches).
Patents are not necessarily a good guide to a company's future plans.
Apple patents are number of technologies that never make it into commercial products.
Copperfield Research also points out that the supplier Apple uses to build inductive charging chips for the Apple Watch, IDT, has previously stated there is clear evidence Apple wants to incorporate a custom inductive charging solution for the iPhone.
Finally, the report claims Apple has argued against the wireless technology proposed by Energous in one of its previous inductive charging patents.
The Apple patent highlights three drawbacks to the radio frequency technology, one of which is potential radiation hazard.
REDDIT • FLOCKMANN • CONCEPTSiPHONE
Concept images reflect Apple's rumoured decision to drop the iconic Home Button
REDDIT • FLOCKMANN • CONCEPTSiPHONE
This would allow Apple to shave the bulky bezels from previous generation iPhones
Delivering charge to devices via radio frequency is notoriously inefficient because of the sheer amount of power lost in transmission.
Copperfield Research acknowledges that a deal between Apple and Energous is extremely likely to exist.
However it believes the contract only exists because Apple wants to keep WattUp technology out of competitor smartphones.
If the report is Copperfield Research correct, and long-distance wireless charging does not make it into the iPhone – it would certainly be disappointing.
The long-rumoured feature appeared to solve a number of problems around short battery life, because, if the technology was ready, your Apple Watch, Apple Magic Keyboard and Mouse, iPhone 8 and iPad Pro could all simultaneously charge whenever they are located in the same room as a WattUp transmitter.
Inductive charging is much less exciting, and seems incredibly late to the party compared to Android manufacturers.
Apple Chief Design Officer Jony Ive wants the iPhone 8 "to appear like a single sheet of glass," according to The Wall Street Journal.
As a result, Apple will reportedly ditch the physical Home Button to achieve an all-glass front for the device.
Renown analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities claims Apple will incorporate the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, usually located in physical Home Button, beneath the glass display.
According to Kuo, the current system Apple uses for its fingerprint recognition will not work through an all-glass design.
Instead, Mr Kuo claims, the new fingerprint sensor will require optical sensors to read the print resting on the display.
IMRAN TAYLOR • BEHANCE
Apple iPhone 8 will have a curved display and thinner all-glass body
The complicated new display set-up, which presumably will still need to incorporate the pressure-sensitivity debuted with the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, will require a number of new, custom solutions from the panel manufacturers.
However the KGI Securities research report states that Apple has enough clout within the industry to get the system built ready for the new iPhone.
Alongside the new fingerprint recognition technology, the iPhone 8 could also see Apple introduce facial tracking sensors into its flagship smartphone, Mr Kuo has claimed.
These could be used to scan users' faces to help verify identification.
Mr Kuo believes the fingerprint recognition system will "ultimately be replaced by a facial recognition system" in an effort to make the iPhone even more secure.
"However, if the technical challenges cannot be overcome, we believe a combination of fingerprint and facial recognition is another possible solution," he writes.
Elsewhere, Apple is reportedly looking to distance itself from the curved aluminium design language it has used for the past three generations of iPhone, first introduced with iPhone 6.
With the Home Button gone, Apple can extended the display to the bottom of the phone – reducing the chunky bezels around the screen, and shrinking the overall footprint of the device.
The new 10th anniversary edition of the iPhone is also expected to be modelled with an all-glass design, similar to the iPhone 4 and 4S.
Apple is expected to debut its new industrial design language early next year with a refresh of its iPad range.