Images Claim to Show Wireless Charging Pad Components Destined for the 'iPhone 8'

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.


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.

Related Roundups: iPhone 8, iPhone X


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27 weeks ago

Why is it round?


Because it's pointless? ;)
Rating: 17 Votes
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27 weeks ago
I like the concept Of wireless charging. But I really don't see the need for this personally. I have no need for wireless charging with a dock or charging mat. It's Not anymore convenient for me, as I much prefer using the lightning cable. And At least if it's connected to the lightning cable, I could still use it while it's charging.

Until we see the addition of long range wireless charging, then my interest will be more Piqued.
Rating: 14 Votes
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27 weeks ago

However, you're not among the electrical engineers and have no concept of the methodology they're using for this. Maybe if you were apprised of the details, you'd respect its feasibility a bit more. As for the FCC approvals, let's wait and see, as opposed to acting like we have the faintest idea of what the FCC has directed this company to do for their testing purposes, nor whether they'll approve it or not.

You're right, I don't work for the company, but I recognize the pattern I'm seeing. A company comes out with wild claims and a big marketing push. They build the sense these products are already possible. They try to build up big press and generate dissatisfaction with the alternatives.

Over time, it becomes clear that they're held to the same laws of physics that everyone else is. Language gets parsed a little more carefully. Claims get quietly walked back. The demonstrated performance is either in line with what skeptics predicted when first released, or it's done in controlled environments where they can operate under R&D licenses.

When the circus finally calms down, it becomes clear why they needed so much publicity up front: their whole strategy rests on changing the laws. They need to convince FCC to change the regulatory regime, and they're hoping the publicity will convince the agency that it's in the public interest to do so.

In the end, there's no new technology-- it's simply a lobbying effort.

It's an antenna array system. They claim 100's of elements in their far field version which is an engineering feat, but not new physics. They're applying beam steering and MIMO techniques from communications, but they want it treated under ISM regulations for industrial power equipment. The reason they want to be allowed to output the power of a microwave oven is because they think they can target it on a small bubble in your pocket.

What this means for us is entirely new levels of ambient radio power in our environment to get milliwatts into our phones. They've said as much.


I'm with [USER=870396]@69Mustang[/USER] -- if I'm missing something here, tell me what. I really do love a deep dive into science and tech. In the mean time, I've got no problem answering baseless claims that this wundertek is on the horizon with my informed skepticism.
Rating: 4 Votes
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27 weeks ago

However, you're not among the electrical engineers and have no concept of the methodology they're using for this. Maybe if you were apprised of the details, you'd respect its feasibility a bit more. As for the FCC approvals, let's wait and see, as opposed to acting like we have the faintest idea of what the FCC has directed this company to do for their testing purposes, nor whether they'll approve it or not.

You are really quick to assert that other people have no credentials, expertise, or insight into Energous and their tech. Yet you've never once provided any counter argument based on facts. [USER=15414]@Analog Kid[/USER] gave detailed science, I gave words quoted directly from the CEO, and in that same article there's info about their FCC hurdles and expert opinion about their chances of success. Yet you continually assert what others don't know. What exactly is it that you know?
Rating: 4 Votes
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27 weeks ago

Why is it round? Looks like something for the Watch, not the iPhone.

All wireless charging components are round. The coils needs to be wound tightly to produce energy and charge the phone.
Rating: 3 Votes
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27 weeks ago
"Fast Company also reported ('//www.macrumors.com/2017/07/11/iphone-8-software-issues-causing-apple-panic/') 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."

This just makes no sense to me. If the charging software isn't ready, how do they know the components are working properly? If they ship tens of millions of phones only to ship the hardware controlling software later, this could be a very expensive mistake if there are any problems with the hardware.

Also, it doesn't seem reasonable that the software could take long to develop.
Rating: 3 Votes
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27 weeks ago

But outside of the charging mat, I have a strong feeling Apple fans are going to be disappointed with what Energous is offering. Basically at a distance weak trickle charge.

They had a much faster distance charge almost working, but the orbital microwave laser involved had the unfortunate side effect of occasionally vaporizing the phone's owner.
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Yeah, but assuming they're under part 15 (and part 18 seems like a heck of a stretch for something like this in an open room), they've got 1W of total radiated power. At 15ft, that's 3mW/m^2. The entire surface area of the iPhone 7+ is 0.01m^2, so you're starting from 30µW. Since the effective antenna won't be the full size of the device, you need to knock that back further.

So, basically Apple would do better by covering the back of the phone with solar cells and having you lay it face down under any nearby desk lamp.

(Reminds me of a very old proposal to keep humans warm in a house with very low power microwaves - instead of heating all the air in the house, you just heat the humans [via the water they contain] directly.)
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I'm willing to put money down the pad will cost $79.99.

If it does follow an industry standard, there may quickly be cheaper fully compatible pads available, with no need for a MadeForiPhone program to qualify them. Though, undoubtedly, Apple's will be "the best charging pad we've ever made".
Rating: 3 Votes
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27 weeks ago

What? If it's INDUCTIVE ITS GARBAGE. We don't need to hear what Apple says. Apparently you don't understand what inductive charging is. Worthless.
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This comment makes no sense. You seemingly do not understand inductive charging.

Why doesn' t it make sense?
You can shout , But , if you don' t understand something , it is smarter to ask questions.
Rating: 3 Votes
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27 weeks ago

for example, how about stack all of your apple portable devices and they'll all start charging in one place? stack macbook, then ipad, then mouse/trackpad, then iphone, then airpods and watch? that way you only use one outlet, you only need one wire, you don't take up that much space, you can charge your entire family's devices, and it is super portable (less things to pack for a trip).

For this to even be remotely possible we'd have to suspend reality. There's ample information out there about Energous tech. It can't even come close to doing what you're suggesting. Instead of just creating pie in the sky guesses, why not research what's actually feasible?

if they were planning on using Qi charging in iPhone with the same use case as what Android phones do, they would have already done it. there has to be some sort of UX improvement that Apple figured out with Qi charging.

None of this makes sense. That's like saying if they were planning to use OLED with the same use case as Android phones they would have already done it. Same with 1080p, 4K Apple TV, larger phones, etc. Apple dismisses stuff until they use it. It's marketing, not some brand new use case.

it was necessary in the watch for water/sweat resistance. watch could break if you plugged it in right after sweating/swimming using a lightning port.

This makes no sense either. Qi charging was not necessary for water/sweat resistance. Apple could have easily charged the AW with a lightning port or contact pins. There are plenty of devices that charge through ports and with pins and have IP certification for dust and water intrusion. Qi was not necessary. Besides, no one would be charging a wet AW just like no one would be charging a wet iPhone.
Rating: 3 Votes
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27 weeks ago

Apple could adopt that wireless charging tech in the matt itself. So the charging matt could be wireless.
It would be the answer for apple in keeping the iphone cheaper and to have more space in the iphone itself, and let people pay extra for the newest tech. While keeping volumes in check because of this new tech and low yields.

And then it's turtles, all the way down!

Yeah, Energous' CEO keeps claiming FCC approval is right around the corner. Thus far, only the mini transmitter (charging mat) has been cleared by the FCC. Here's an enlightening article about Energous ('https://finance.yahoo.com/news/investigation-air-charging-hoax-174529738.html'). Bit long, but enlightening nonetheless.


Thanks for that link. I love the part of the first video where it shows "3mW"...

Nothing I see suggests a solution for phones. Charge a keyboard from 1m away? The 5m system was described as "trickle charging" a TV remote.

There are very few bands where you can put more than 1W in the air total, even with a pencil beam, you'll get a fifth of the current you get from the little iPhone charge block. The FCC won't waive that limit for a device you keep in your pocket without out comprehensive biological testing.

That's the reality of distance charging no matter what. I think it's understood or should be, that distance charging is essentially charging sort-of all the time in a tiny amount, without the user even thinking about it. That's the point to me

Yeah, but assuming they're under part 15 (and part 18 seems like a heck of a stretch for something like this in an open room), they've got 1W of total radiated power. At 15ft, that's 3mW/m^2. The entire surface area of the iPhone 7+ is 0.01m^2, so you're starting from 30µW. Since the effective antenna won't be the full size of the device, you need to knock that back further. You can use a directional antenna, but once you get past 6dBi you need to reduce the conducted power by 1dB for every 3dB you add in gain-- and a mass produced array won't be near 100% efficient. So maybe every doubling in the number of antennas increase your power delivery by 1.5dB, or about 40%.

Let's say by some crazy amount of persistence, you get to 1mW of charging power: you'd do better by replacing a CR3032 coin cell once every 5 weeks.

And if they do manage part 18 approval, and they take a microwave oven and remove the shielding then focus all of the output through a phased array at the phone in your pocket, these conservative calculations only get them to 1W delivered to the device...
Rating: 3 Votes
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