Apple's iPhone 7 to feature wireless charging and waterproof body
Apple's next iPhone will be the first to sport wireless charging, according to a report.
Support for the QI charging technology, which charges phones when they are placed on and inductive pad, will feature in the new model, a source told Fast Company.
The iPhone 7 will also boast a waterproof body thanks to chemical coating and will do away with the iPhone's headphone jack, as previously reported.
If wireless charging is introduced, the iPhone 7 would join many Android models, including Samsung's Galaxy S6 flagship, which are capable of charging by resting them on pads, instead of being physically plugged into a cable. The technology does not allow charging to be done over the air, but requires phones to be placed on a special surface.
The Apple Watch was the company's first product with inbuilt inductive charging, which uses a magnetic connector that snaps onto the back of the device. It recently created a larger magnetic charging dock based on the same design as its inductive charging puck.
Inductive charging works by transferring electricity between two objects - the charging pad and phone, for example - via two coils: a transmitter and a receiver. An alternating current is passed through the transmitter, which generates a magnetic field. This in turn induces a voltage in the receiver, which can be used to power a mobile device or charge a battery.
Should Apple choose to incorporate the technology, iPhone owners could take advantage of Ikea's wireless charging furniture range, alongside charging hubs in Starbucks and McDonalds across the country.
The decision to remove the headphone jack in order to create a thinner body would prove a controversial one. The company would presumably include new wireless headphones with the new handset, or a pair of headphones which connect to the phone through a lightning connector.
The source added the company was likely to incorporate noise-cancelling technology from UK audio company Wolfson Microelectronics which aim to eliminate background noise.
Third parties have been able to create lightning connector headphones since June 2014 when Apple extended its Made-for-iPhone licensing programme.
The new iPhone, slated for release in September, represents an important moment in Apple's history. The company has reportedly slashed production levels of the iPhone 6s and partner unit the 6s Plus by a third amid fears of slowing demand for the 'fallow year' s models, despite initial sales of more than 13 million units within three days of availability.
The iPhone 7 will have to contain more innovative hardware changes to persuade legions of fans to buy it, as developing markets reach increasing levels of saturation as the economy shifts from a buy to an upgrade cycle.