We’re about 3 – 4 months away from finding out which among the rumors and leaks about the upcoming iPhones will turn out to be true. That’s still a relatively long time, which is why receiving confirmed information from an irrefutable source is always welcome news, especially for those who are just itching to find out what’s real and what’s not about Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) latest flagship phone.
In this case, the information comes from one of Apple’s suppliers — an India-based manufacturer called Wistron.
A few days ago, Wistron’s CEO Robert Hwang virtually confirmed that two of the most anticipated rumored features of the new iPhone are true. The device will be waterproof and will support wireless charging.
According to Nikkei Asian Review, Hwang told reporters: “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.”
Breaking that statement down, it seems Hwang is saying that while the process of making iPhones might not have changed much, adding new features does require different kinds or methods of testing. And because the previous iPhone already included water-resistance as part of its features, Hwang mentioning ‘waterproof’ as a new feature doesn’t come as any surprise. As a matter of fact, the mention of ‘wireless charging’ isn’t that much of a surprise too, even if it might have been just a slip-up that Hwang didn’t intend to let out at all.
Rumors about Apple’s next iPhone having wireless charging capability started circulating in February through a note from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo hinting that Cupertino was developing the said feature for its 2017 iPhones. And while Kuo didn’t elaborate on how Apple planned to implement the feature, a report from Bloomberg revealed that it won’t be the same kind of wireless charging technology that’s presently available. It will be far better because it will allow ‘true’ wireless charging capabilities– wirelessly powering a device at a distance. That in itself is an exciting prospect as it suggests that Apple is getting deeply involved into the wireless charging game.
As for water-proofing, we know that the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are already water-resistant with an IP67 rating, meaning, the devices can withstand 30 minutes of being submerged in water up 1 meter deep. Furthermore, Hwang saying ‘waterproof’ might either be an ‘error’ — because there’s actually a big difference between being water-resistant and being waterproof — or maybe he simply meant they’re enhancing the feature by upgrading it from IP67 water-resistance to IP68. An IP68 rating means the device can withstand 30 minutes of being submerged in water up 1.5 meters deep. That’s better than IP67, of course, but still far from being truly ‘waterproof’.
In any case, it’s not even clear if Hwang was referring to the iPhone 7s Plus, or the iPhone 8 models, or all three. I guess we’ll have to wait for Apple’s special event in September to find out if this new rumor is true or not.