Wistron, Apple’s primary Taiwan-based iPhone assembly partner, confirmed this morning that at least one of Apple’s upcoming iPhone models will feature enhanced water-proofing and wireless charging capabilities, according to a report from the Japan-based Nikkei Asian Review. While the Cupertino-company’s ultra-premium iPhone 8 flagship is nearly certain to feature a top-to-bottom material redesign complete with wireless charging capabilities, enhanced IP68 dust- and water-proofing protection, and so much more — a Wistron executive has chimed in claiming it wont be the only iPhone model to ship with these highly-anticipated upgrades.
“Assembly process for the previous generations of [iPhones] have not changed much, though new features like waterproof and wireless charging now require some different testing, and waterproof function will alter the assembly process a bit,” said Wistron CEO, Robert Hwang, in response to a question from reporters after his company’s annual shareholders’ meeting on Wednesday.
We already know with near certainty that Apple’s upcoming iPhone 8, which could also be dubbed the iPhone Edition or iPhone X, will feature some form of wireless charging capability based on claims from hundreds of reports. And while Apple’s other two handsets slated for release this fall might not feature a significant material redesign, or advanced features like the iPhone 8, Hwang’s comments nevertheless appear to suggest that at least the 5.5-inch iPhone 7s Plus will be able to charge wirelessly while boasting enhanced IP68 waterproofing like the iPhone 8.
The report comes as two renowned Apple analysts, Jeff Pu of Yuanta Investment Consulting and Arthur Liao of Fubon Securities, sent out research notes saying that Wistron will be splitting build orders for Apple’s 5.5-inch iPhone model with Foxconn this year. Therefore, it’s likely that Hwang was referring to the similarly-sized iPhone 7s Plus handset as the device that will receive wireless charging capabilities with enhanced waterproofing protection.
If it’s true that the iPhone 7s Plus will feature wireless charging, that would appear to leave Apple’s standard, 4.7-inch iPhone 7s variant standing in the lurch.. Worth noting, however, is that all three upcoming iPhone models were previously rumored to feature wireless charging capabilities, according to a research note submitted last year by famed KGI Securities analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo.
Given that wireless charging is conceptually dependent on a glass-backed construction, similar to that of Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and S8+, it remains to be seen exactly how Apple plans to employ wireless charging on its lower-tier iPhone 7s models. Apple’s proprietary Smart Connector port, which is exclusive to the company’s iPad Po models, could be a potential gateway to bringing wireless charging to the aluminum unibody devices like iPhone 7s and 7s Plus; but we’ll just have to wait and see what Apple comes up with. Either way, it’s looking increasingly likely that all three iPhone models will be able to ditch the cord this year.