A recent report by Mac Otakara [Google Translate] has delved into a few of the specifications that could be coming to the inductive-style wireless charging feature of the iPhone 8, iPhone 7s, and iPhone 7s Plus. According to the site, citing a source well versed in the Wireless Power Consortium, Apple's devices will only support half of the power profile currently standard in Qi version 1.2, meaning the iPhone 8 will charge at a slower rate compared to other devices when using wireless charging.
Specifically, version 1.2 of the Qi standard allows for 15 watts of power transmitted from the wireless charging pad to the receiving device. According to the new report, the iPhone 8 will support half of that standard at a maximum of 7.5 watts of power (5 volts over 1.5 amps). While faster than Apple's current 5W USB power adapter, if the information turns out to be true then Apple's new line of iPhones would lack compatibility with more current Qi wireless charging accessories.
One example of a Qi wireless charging pad
Apple is also expected to require third-party manufacturers to acquire a "Made for iPhone" license before marketing their charging pads as iPhone-compatible accessories.
Also, like the Apple Watch, which is Qi standard but can only be charged with a MFi chip-equipped charger, there is a possibility that the wireless charging function of the iPhone 8 series is bound by the MFi license.
While all three iPhones launching in 2017 are expected to include wireless charging of some kind, the ability might not be available to iPhone 8, iPhone 7s, and iPhone 7s Plus owners at launch. Over the summer it was rumored that software problems related to wireless charging were causing a "panic" at Apple, so the feature might not debut until an iOS 11 update later in the year, potentially alongside the retail releases of these MFi charging pads and Apple's own first-party accessory.
Apple's rumored 5.8-inch iPhone with an OLED display will feature a stainless steel enclosure sandwiched between front and back glass with 2.5D curvature along the edges, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara.
"iPhone Edition" render by Japanese blog Mac Otakara
The blog claims the so-called "iPhone Edition" will have an improved version of the polished stainless steel used for the mid-range Apple Watch. The report also reiterates that the Home button will be removed, as widely rumored, but the blog could not confirm if Touch ID will be embedded under the display.
As seen in a handful of renders over the past few weeks, the "iPhone Edition" will reportedly also be equipped with a vertically-aligned dual-lens iSight Duo camera on the rear for VR purposes. Accordingly, when the iPhone is used in a VR headset, the cameras would be positioned horizontally as customary.
Meanwhile, the tentatively named iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus are expected to be slightly thicker than the current iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, meaning that some existing cases and accessories might not fit the newer models. From a cosmetic standpoint, however, the smartphones are expected to look similar.
Earlier this week, a well-known research firm that requested confidentiality told us that, based on their own sources, it expects Apple to announce new products later this month, most likely during the week of March 20. The research firm did not say which products it expects, or the manner in which they will be announced.
Following our report, some Japanese analysts have predicted that a second-generation 9.7-inch iPad Pro will be announced next week, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara. The analysts are reportedly basing this prediction on supply chain information and the lack of a scheduled Apple event next week.
Given that Apple usually invites the media to a launch event at least 10 days beforehand, and if the information we were provided about Apple announcing new products as early as next week is accurate, it is possible the so-called "iPad Pro 2" could be announced via press release rather than at a launch event.
A press release could be an appropriate manner for Apple to announce a new 9.7-inch iPad Pro, given that rumors suggest it will be an iterative upgrade. One of the only rumored additions to the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is quad microphones, while Mac Otakara suggests it could have a faster Apple A10X chip.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects Apple to launch a low-cost 9.7-inch iPad Pro this year, likely with its current Apple A9X chip. He did not mention an entirely new 9.7-inch model. If the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is essentially only getting a price cut, then a press release as early as next week would be fitting.
The 10.5-inch iPad Pro is expected to have slimmer bezels, and there is a slim chance it will have no Home button, allowing it to have the same overall footprint as the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. This design could foreshadow the rumored 5.8-inch iPhone. The tablet is also rumored to have a higher-resolution display and quad microphones.
The updated 12.9-inch iPad Pro is said to feature a 12-megapixel rear camera and True Tone display like the current 9.7-inch model, using advanced four-channel ambient light sensors to automatically adapt the color and intensity of the display to match the light in the surrounding environment.
While it is becoming clear that new iPads are on the horizon, Apple's exact launch plans remain convoluted.
If Apple still plans to host an event later this month as one increasingly unlikely rumor said, it would most likely fall between Monday, March 27 and Friday, March 31, given the 10-plus-day buffer for inviting the media.
At this event, the rumor said Apple will unveil its new iPad Pro lineup, a larger iPhone SE model with 128GB storage, and new Apple Watch bands. The report also claimed Apple will add a red color option for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, which could be part of its charitable (PRODUCT)RED campaign.
Of course, the event could be later. Taiwanese website DigiTimes claims Apple is planning to unveil the 10.5-inch iPad Pro at an early April event to "mark the inauguration of Apple's new headquarters in California," but it is unlikely that the supply chain sources cited would know this specific information.
It is also unclear if Steve Jobs Theater would be ready for an April event, as Apple indicated it opens "later this year" despite employees starting to move in next month. The latest drone footage by Duncan Sinfield shows that the theater is still under construction and surrounded by mounds of dirt.
Steve Jobs Theater is shown around the 1:45 mark
Apple could hold an event elsewhere, or even wait until WWDC 2017 in June. Or, just like a low-cost 9.7-inch iPad Pro, a red iPhone 7, 128GB iPhone SE, and new Apple Watch bands could certainly be announced by press release or an update to Apple's website in the meantime.
Apple may call the 2017 iPhone 8, rumored to be announced alongside the iPhone 7s and 7s Plus at a September event, the "iPhone Edition," according to a new report from Japanese website Mac Otakara. The name would reportedly signal that the phone is a higher end model, similar to how Apple names the Apple Watch Edition. The "Edition" moniker lines up with reports that the model could cost upwards of $1,000.
The report goes on to note that Apple is currently testing multiple prototypes alongside the iPhone 8. The prototypes experiment with screen technology and materials, with some prototypes using an LCD display while others use AMOLED. The prototypes are also in testing with and without home buttons. Further, Apple is using them to test glass, aluminum and white ceramic chassis.
Apple is trying to gauge which materials and technologies they can procure at mass scale for production, according to Mac Otakara. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Nikkei and the Wall Street Journal have reported the iPhone 8 will feature an OLED screen, while the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch lower-end models will sport LCD displays.
Mac Okatara says the only features Apple is reportedly certain of are a 5-inch display, wireless charging and dual cameras. The 5-inch display Mac Otakara is referring to is the usable space on the display. The iPhone 8 is expected to utilize an edge-to-edge display that puts a 5.8-inch display in a handset roughly the size of a 4.7-inch iPhone. 5.15 inches of the 5.8-inch display will be usable. The difference will be used for a wide row of virtual buttons.
The Cupertino company is also expected to announce a more standard 4.7-inch iPhone 7s and 5.5-inch iPhone 7s Plus alongside the "iPhone Edition." According to Mac Otakara, while those two models are expected to launch in September, the "iPhone Edition" may not launch until well after that.
Apple will host a March 2017 event to introduce a new iPad Pro lineup, including 7.9-inch, 9.7-inch, 10.5-inch, and 12.9-inch models, according to Japanese website Mac Otakara.
The report claims Apple may also add a 128GB storage option for the iPhone SE alongside its existing 16GB and 64GB capacities, add a new red color option for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, and announce new Apple Watch bands.
The rumored 10.5-inch iPad Pro model, which is expected to have an edge-to-edge display, may not begin shipping until May.
Apple is planning to release three new iPhone models later this year, including 4.7-inch, 5.5-inch, and an all-new 5-inch model with an OLED display and glass casing, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara.
The report, citing "reliable sources" within Apple's supply chain, insists that only the OLED model will adopt glass casing and wireless charging capabilities, contradicting a Nikkei report and KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo's repeated claims that all 2017 iPhones will feature an all-glass design and wireless charging.
The loosely-translated report suggests the wireless charging will not be a built-in feature, but rather a separate accessory based on technology from Luxshare, a Chinese company that has been rumored to be a supplier of wireless charging coils for the inductive Apple Watch charger in the past.
Samsung's wireless charging stand for the latest Galaxy smartphones
If the report is accurate, it would mean Apple's next iPhones will not have truly wireless long-range charging capabilities, but rather contact-based inductive charging like the Apple Watch or Qi-based charging pads like Samsung's "Fast Charge" stand. Qi's latest Quick Charge 2.0 spec supports wireless charging up to 15W.
Over the course of the last year, there has been ongoingspeculation that wireless charging company Energous has inked a deal with Apple to potentially provide wireless charging technology for the iPhone 8, but patents and other evidence suggest Apple may pursue its own in-house inductive charging solutions instead.
Overall, rumors surrounding Apple's wireless charging plans are still lacking consensus. Reports have linked MediaTek, Foxconn, Pegatron, and Lite-On Semiconductor as possible suppliers of wireless charging chips or modules.
Five years ago, Apple marketing chief Phil Schillersaid "it's not clear how much convenience" wireless charging systems that have to be plugged in to a wall outlet add, while noting the ubiquity of the USB cord.
As for wireless charging, Schiller notes that the wireless charging systems still have to be plugged into the wall, so it’s not clear how much convenience they add. The widely-adopted USB cord, meanwhile, can charge in wall outlets, computers and even on airplanes, he said.
Given that Apple's wireless AirPods and BeatsX earphones are now available, perhaps it feels including the Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapter in the box is no longer necessary. But the inclusion of a Lightning to USB-A Cable, rather than a Lightning to USB-C Cable, makes less sense given Apple's port future.
Mac Otakara has a mixed track record at reporting on Apple's upcoming product plans. While it had several accurate reports about the iPhone 7, including its lack of a headphone jack, Jet Black color, and longer earpiece cutout, its rumors about a "Jet White" color and iPhone 6 battery program have yet to materialize.
A number of iPhone 6s users said their devices typically shut down with around 30% battery life remaining. Apple noted the shutdowns are not a safety issue, but rather a feature designed to protect the iPhone's internal components from low voltage. However, affected batteries still need to be replaced.
Apple may introduce a new 5-inch iPhone model that sports a unique vertical dual-camera system that sits alongside the existing 4.7- and 5.5-inch models, according to Japanese blog Mac Okatara. The 5-inch model would act as the medium size in the 2017 lineup.
The report, which comes from a Taiwanese supplier, says that the new models, dubbed the iPhone 7s, would be an updated version of the iPhone 7. The new 5-inch model, however, would rearrange the iPhone 7 Plus' dual camera into a vertical alignment rather than a horizontal one.
Earlier this month, Mac Okatarareported that the iPhone 7s and 7s Plus would retain the aluminum design of the iPhone 7. However, the report said the new phones would come in an all-new red color. Multiple reports have stated that there will be three new iPhone models in 2017, including updated 4.7- and 5.5-inch models with LCD screens and a premium model with an OLED display and glass casing.
The new report corroborates an earlier Nikkeireport that said a new 5-inch iPhone would arrive in 2017. However, Nikkei reports that the three iPhone models in 2017 will have new glass-backed designs. In November, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said it's likely the 2017 iPhones will switch to new glass casings to support wireless charging.
Apple will release updated versions of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus next year, aptly called the "iPhone 7s" and "iPhone 7s Plus," according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara.
The report claims the smartphones will retain the same aluminum design as the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, with only internal changes, including the addition of a faster A11 chip.
The report added it is highly probable the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus will come in an all-new red color alongside current Black, Jet Black, Gold, Rose Gold, and Silver options.
Multiple rumors suggest Apple plans to release three new iPhone models next year, including updated 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models with traditional LCD displays and a larger premium model with an OLED display and glass casing, but reports have been conflicting about which features will be included on each model.
Apple has a nearly bezel-free 10.9-inch iPad Pro under development without a Home button, according to Japanese website Mac Otakara.
The report said the nearly bezel-free design will allow for the 10.9-inch model to have the same overall footprint as the current 9.7-inch iPad Pro. A top bezel will remain in order to provide space for the front-facing FaceTime camera, but the bottom bezel will be reduced, according to supply chain sources cited.
The much-rumored 10.9-inch model will also be marginally thicker at 7.5mm, the same depth as the original iPad Air. The current 9.7-inch iPad Pro measures 6.1mm thick. The next 12.9-inch model will also be 0.3mm thicker at 7.2mm, while a rumored 7.9-inch iPad Pro will allegedly likely have the same dimensions as the iPad mini 4.
Earlier this month, a group of Barclays analysts said Apple will launch a trio of new iPad Pro models in March, including the aforementioned bezel-free 10.9-inch model and refreshed 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch versions. The note likewise said the 10.9-inch model will have a 9.7-inch footprint without a Home button.
Multiple rumors have pointed towards a new iPad in the 10-inch range, but the exact screen size has varied in each report. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said 10.5 inches, echoed by DigiTimes, while an earlier Mac Otakara report said 10.1 inches. Mac Otakara and Barclays now appear to agree on 10.9 inches.
Mac Otakara previously said the 10.9-inch iPad Pro will feature quad microphones, compared to the dual-microphone setup on existing iPad Pro models, and retain a 3.5mm headphone jack. More "revolutionary" changes, including a switch to OLED displays, are expected in 2018, according to Kuo.