Images claiming to offer a glimpse of the wireless charging pad circuitry to be paired with Apple's upcoming "iPhone 8" have been shared on Chinese microblogging platform Weibo today by technology website ZEALER (via iClarified).
The two photos show several assembled inductive charging kits in a plastic tray and a black PCB board of bare circuitry modeled on the assembled kits. As with most alleged leaks that appear on Weibo, it's extremely difficult to tell whether the images are authentic, but we're covering them here for completion.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has claimed the iPhone 8 and its companion devices, the "iPhone 7s" and the "iPhone 7s Plus" will all adopt glass bodies with metal frames to facilitate WPC-standard wireless charging functionality. The WPC-standard refers to the Wireless Power Consortium, which supports the Qi wireless charging functionality built into many Android devices.
According to Kuo, wireless charging will be enabled through an optional accessory sold alongside the new iPhones, rather than be included in the box. Separately, Apple blogger John Gruber has suggested that the accessory might not be available in September when the iPhones are expected to launch, but might ship later in the year instead alongside an iOS 11.1 software update.
I’ve heard that inductive charging will (a) be sold separately, and (b) might be late, waiting for iOS 11.1 (a la Portrait mode last year). https://t.co/N65dHMNQIJ — John Gruber (@gruber) July 8, 2017
Fast Company also reported that software issues, not components, would be the reason behind a possible delay in enabling wireless charging in the phones. According to their sources, if the software isn't ready, wireless charging could be unavailable when the phone first begins shipping.
Early rumors about the OLED "iPhone 8" and the iterative "S" cycle upgrades to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus suggested Apple was considering a long-range charging feature, but that technology is yet to mature and there are likely challenges to overcome before it's ready for inclusion in a device like the iPhone. As such, Qi wireless charging is in line with rumors that have predicted the iPhone 8 will support inductive charging rather than a true wireless charging feature.