In a tweet shared this evening, Gruber says he’s heard that the inductive charging accessory will be sold separately rather than included with the iPhones, a rumor we’ve heard previously, and that it might be shipped later in the year alongside an iOS 11.1 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
Early rumors about the OLED “iPhone 8” and its two companion devices, the “iPhone 7s” and the “iPhone 7s Plus,” suggested Apple was considering a long-range charging feature, but that technology is still new and there are likely many hurdles to overcome before it’s ready for inclusion in a device like the iPhone.
Instead, Apple is rumored to be introducing Apple Watch-style inductive charging, enabled through a standalone charging accessory.
In a research note published earlier this week, trusted KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said the three iPhones coming in 2017 will adopt glass bodies to facilitate WPC-standard wireless charging functionality. WPC-standard refers to the Wireless Power Consortium (Apple is a member), which supports the Qi wireless charging functionality built into many Android devices.
If Apple’s upcoming iPhones do indeed support a universal inductive charging technology like Qi, the devices could potentially work with a range of already-available charging solutions once the wireless charging feature is enabled. Apple’s exact plans for its inductive wireless charging solution remain unclear, however, and it could be limited to Apple-designed accessories.