Most everyone agrees that when Apple trots out new iPhones later this year, there will be three of them — an iPhone 8, which will feature an edge-to-edge OLED screen among other fantastic features, along with new versions of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus that will feature modest (and, therefore, less fantastic) improvements over the current models.
But one leading analyst thinks the iPhone 7s and 7s Plus should sport at least one significant improvement over their predecessors.
The latest research note from analyst KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo forecasts wireless charging for all three iPhones, according to MacRumors which got its hands on the note. Kuo's pronouncements about Apple's plans tend to carry more weight, as he's developed a reputation for being spot-on with his reports about future iPhone features.
If that's the case here, the addition of wireless charging is a big deal for iPhone fans. That's a feature found in leading Android devices that's currently missing from the iPhone lineup. Expanding it to all the new iPhone models and not just the high-end iPhone 8 would be a welcome move by Apple, particularly since reports have the price tag on that cutting-edge iPhone approaching $1,000.
Kuo's new note has some explanation for why the iPhone 8 may turn out to be so pricey. MacRumors reports that Kuo expects the iPhone 8 to a new 3D Touch module that would deal with the increased heat from wireless charging in an OLED-equipped phone. That new module will cost Apple more to get its hands on, which could wind up pushing up the price of that particular iPhone model.
Wireless charging won't be the only change to the iPhone 7s and 7s Plus models (if that's what Apple winds up calling them). Last year, Kuo predicted a move to an all-glass design for the iPhone, and as MacRumors noted at the time, that change is expected to apply to the entire lineup. You should also expect faster performance and improved cameras.
People have been predicting that Apple would adopt wireless charging for its 2017 phones as early as a year ago. That rumor picked up steam after reports that Apple was switching to the all-glass design, which is friendly to wireless charging, as well as reports that parts suppliers were signing on to provide Apple with the components needed to support the feature.
The latest reports have the iPhone supporting a more conventional form of wireless charging, in which you place your phone on a charging pad, instead of over-the-air charging — at least for this year's models.