Some of the earliest rumors about Apple's next iPhone suggested that it would include wireless charging, a feature that's long been missing from Apple's smartphones.
We've got new proof that the upcoming iPhones will be able to charge wirelessly, and it comes directly from one of the companies that assembles Apple's phones.
Robert Hwang, CEO of design manufacturer Wistron, confirmed the arrival of wireless charging when speaking to reporters after his company's annual shareholders meeting today (June 14).
According to Nikkei Asian Review, Hwang said, "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."
The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus already offer water resistance, meaning they can be submerged in about 3 feet of water for 30 minutes, so the waterproofing Hwang refers to could mean that feature's being enhanced in upcoming models. The real story here is the wireless charging Hwang mentions, since that's not available in any iPhone.
This isn't the first time we've heard about wireless charging coming to the iPhone 8. Last fall, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities said that Apple was switching to a glass design on its next phone in large part to offer wireless charging support.
Other rumors from the iPhone supply chain have also pointed to wireless charging, and a recent leak has suggested the feature could find its way into new versions of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, too. It's widely believed that Apple will roll out three new iPhones this fall : modest updates to the 7 and 7 Plus, along with the more feature-packed iPhone 8.
That's key, because it's not exactly clear which new iPhone Hwang was talking about when he mentioned wireless charging. That Nikkei Asian Review report notes that Hwang's firm is splitting orders for a 5.5-inch iPhone with another phone assembly company. In other words, Hwang may be talking about the rumored iPhone 7s Plus, though it's hard to imagine Apple leaving wireless charging support out of the iPhone 8 if it's going to be on other models.