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Apple reports $8.7 bn profit in Q3, stocks rise

Apple

has announced its financial results for the third quarter of the fiscal year 2017, with profit rising to $8.7 billion, nearly 12 per cent higher than in the same period of 2016.

The strong results announced on Tuesday send the share price of the tech company up by six per cent in after hours trading, Efe news reported.

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said that the company is in its “third consecutive quarter of accelerating growth” and has achieved “an all-time quarterly record for Services revenue.”

During the third quarter, which ended on Monday, the California-based company generated net earnings per share of $1.67, compared to the $1.42 it had achieved between May and July 2016, when it earned a total of $7.79 billion.

Apple’s total revenue reached $45.4 billion in this quarter, representing a seven per cent increase over the same months of 2016, when it managed to raise $42.3 billion.

Much of the revenue came from iPhone sales, which, with 41 million units sold between May and June, contributed $24.8 billion to that figure.

The revenue from services, which include the company’s digital content and the Apple Pay application, among others, reached $7.26 billion, showing a 21 per cent jump over the third quarter of 2016, when it was $5.97 billion.

Apple currently has $261.5 billion in cash, 94 per cent of which are outside the US. This figure is 13 per cent higher than that reported at the end of May, when it announced that it had about $256 billion.

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Five Things You Might Not Know From ‘The Secret History of the iPhone’

Image: Getty

In his new book The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone, Brian Merchant gives us a rare look inside Apple, chronicling the development of the iPhone with details about everything from the selection of raw materials to the product’s famous launch event.

In the past, we’ve heard a few scraps of information from the development history of the iPhone. Like that it almost ran on Linux. Or that Apple didn’t invent the Multitouch technology that allows for pinch-and-zoom. Or even Steve Jobs’ demand that the phone’s screen be made of glass instead of plastic came one month before its launch. Here are five things you might not know about the development of the iPhone, straight from Merchant’s book.

1) Before there was the iPhone, there was an Apple flip phone prototype

Today, touchscreen phones are everywhere, but in 2003, not so much. While there were some early attempts in the 80s, others were developed closer to the iPhone’s launch. Industrial Design (ID) Engineer Brian Huppi, who worked at Apple from 2012 to 2016 explains Apple’s first foray into phones.

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Page 20:

[T]he ID group fabricated plenty of cell phones. Not smartphones, but flip phones. “There were many models of flip phones of various sorts that Apple had been working on,” Huppi says. “I mean very Apple-ized, very gorgeous and beautiful, but they were various takes on cell phones with buttons.” (This might explain why Apple had by this point already registered the domain iPhone.org.)

2) The first iPhone user interface was designed in Photoshop

And not even Adobe could believe it. Apple’s Director of Design from 1995 to 2016, Imran Chaudhri, describes the process by which he and designer Bas Ording built the iPhone’s user interface (UI).

Page 101:

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Ording’s design animations, embedded since the earliest days sharpened by Chaudhri’s sense of style, might be one reason we’re all so hooked on smartphones. And they did it all on basic Adobe software. “We built the entire UI using Photoshop and Director,” Chaudhri says, laughing. “It was like building a Frank Gehry piece out of aluminum foil. It was the biggest hack of all time.” Years later, they told Adobe- “They were fucking floored.”

3) The phone was almost just an iPod with a “steampunk dial”

How would this even work? Senior Apple Engineer Andy Gringon tries to explain an early iPhone design.

Page 220: 

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“We prototyped a new way,” Gringon says of the early device. “It was this interesting material… it still had this touch sensitive click wheel, right, and the Play/Pause/Next/Previous buttons in blue backlighting. And when you put it into phone mode through the UI, all that light kind of faded out and faded back in as orange. Like, zero to nine in the click wheel in an old rotary phone, you know ABCDEGF around the edges.”… The problem was that they were difficult to use as phones… “It was just obvious that we were overloading the click wheel with too much,” Gringon says. “And texting and phone numbers-it was a fucking mess.”

4) There was also an impossible keyboard design

At one time, Apple considered entirely revamping how keyboards were laid out. Director of software engineering Richard Williamson list a few ideas that were being kicked around.

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Radical rethinkings of text input were floated… “We tried all kinds of stuff to come up with all kinds of variants to make the keys appear bigger or have a multitap that you could use to cycle through letters. The chord keyboards were probably the most crazy,” Willamson says. One of them was like a piano keyboard, and you could kind of play letters on the keyboard.”

5) Apple’s Expose feature is right out of the Pre-Crime Department

Ording talks about how the feature that allows iPhone users to look at all of their windows at once was inspired by a gesture-based touchscreen computer from the Steven Spielberg sci-fi classic.

Page 338-9:

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“You know that Expose feature?… I was staring at my screen with a whole pile of windows, and I’m like, ‘I wish I could somehow, just like they do in the movie, go through in between those windows and somehow get through all your stuff.’ That became the Expose thing, but it was inspired by Minority Report.”

Fun fact, the sound effect the phone made when an iPhone is plugged into into a charger until iOS 7 is also from in Minority Report.

Read more about the crazy history of the iPhone in Brian Merchant’s The One Device.

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Report: Apple Hopes to Replace Fingerprints With a 3D Face Scanner on iPhone 8

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GIF: Gadgetlayout

Yesterday, a
leak
from one of the most reliable Apple rumor sleuths claimed that the iPhone 8 won’t feature a fingerprint scanner integrated into the display. That feature has been expected for some time. But if a new report is correct, it seems that fingerprints are going to be replaced with 3D facial recognition.

Citing people familiar with the product who did not want to be named,
Bloomberg reports
that Apple is currently testing whole face 3D scanning with the goal of integrating it into the upcoming iPhone 8. A new 3D sensor is said to be the backbone of the technology and iris scanning may also be a feature.

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The sources say that designers are focused on increasing the speed of the sensor’s recognition capabilities and that it only takes “a few hundred milliseconds” to unlock the phone. It can reportedly recognize faces even if the phone is laying flat on a table.

Because the 3D scanner uses more data points, it is said to be more secure than the fingerprint scanner. That would be a leap forward in phone-based facial recognition. Both the
facial recognition
and
iris recognition
software on the Samsung Galaxy S8 have notoriously been easy to fool with a photograph. But the Galaxy S8 is only a 2D scan. Considering the fact that Apple has gone 10 years with a remarkable security record on the iPhone, it’s probably safe to say that this won’t be released until it’s extremely tight.

The report that claims
the iPhone 8 won’t have a fingerprint scanner built into its OLED display came from KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a strong track record of getting things right. Intriguingly, the report also claims that there will know touch ID whatsoever. Though Bloomberg is saying that the inclusion of 3D facial recognition is still dependent on testing, it seems like Apple should have made a decision by now.

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Supply chain leaks
have already given us a peek at what the iPhone 8 will probably look like. If manufacturers are already getting specs, it would seem reasonable that Apple would notify case makers about a fingerprint scanner on the back of the phone. There certainly doesn’t appear to be one on the front:

iPhone 8 design leak. Image credit: iDrop News

Your mileage may vary on how excited you are to be feeding your biometric data into another system, but the possibility that the 3D scanner could be integrated with Apple’s new augmented reality features sounds great.
Earlier reports
have also indicated that the phone will have a dedicated chip for AI capabilities will improve voice and facial recognition, as well as extend battery life.

Another factor to consider is whether or not the 3D sensor could bring gesture recognition with it. Making gestures in the air could be Apple’s new evolution of multi-touch. While that feature might have limited use on an iPhone, it’s easy to imagine it being integrated into future iPads or iMacs and taking us one step closer to the world of
Minority Report
.

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[
Bloomberg
,
9to5 Mac
]

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iOS 11 Has a Secret Feature That Lets You Stomp Around Cities Like Godzilla

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With the introduction of
iOS 11
and a development tool called ARKit, Apple is betting that augmented reality could be the next revolutionary feature for smartphones. At the very least, it’s facilitated a secret feature that lets iPhone users pretend they’re giant monsters stomping through a tiny city.

The feature was discovered by developer
Felix Lapalme
who stumbled across it in the iOS 11 beta 2 developer build, but it’s been
confirmed to work in the public beta
as well. In a video he posted to Twitter, Lapalme towers over a 3D representation of Montreal in the Apple Maps app using the Flyover feature. The ‘flight’ is usually just a pre-determined animation path, but here Lapalme’s physical movements around a room are being translated in real-time to what he’s seeing on screen.

This functionality could be achieved using just the iPhone’s built-in gyro sensor, but Lapalme is convinced it’s also relying on iOS 11’s augmented reality features because when he covered his device’s cameras, the feature stopped working.

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It’s a fun feature, even if it doesn’t establish augmented reality as the must-have future of smartphones. But it does show how deeply ARKit is being integrated into iOS, and once iOS 11 is officially released, we’ll undoubtedly be seeing more practical examples of how augmented reality can be a genuinely useful addition to our smartphones.

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Apple working on adding diagnostic data to iPhone

Your iPhone will soon be a personal hub for medical information. Apple is working with a small start-up to add diagnostic data to your device, bridging the gap for hospitals to access vital patient data within minutes.

Apple is working with a small start-up Health Gorilla, said a CNBC report on Monday.

Health Gorilla is specifically working to add diagnostic data including blood work, by integrating with hospitals, lab-testing companies such as Quest and LabCorp and imaging centres.

The start-up, which has raised just $5 million in funding, specialises in giving doctors a complete picture of patient health history, according to its website.

Apple is attempting to bridge the gap where hospitals struggle to access vital data about their patients at the point of care.

This initiative is aimed at solving the problem by making the patient the centre of their own care.

“The goal is to give iPhone users the tools to review, store and share their own medical information, including lab results, allergy lists and so on,” the report said.

Though Apple has also been focusing on aggregating fitness information, this new initiative may be deemed as a deviation.

According to Health Gorilla investor True Ventures, the start-up CEO Steve Yaskin founded the company after a doctor friend of his was frustrated with the process of transferring patients’ diagnostic test results.

“The startup is primarily geared to physicians and serves as a marketplace for them to place orders and share medical records,” the report noted.

But it also has a free offering for patients, which promises to gather up medical information in 10 minutes.

Apart from Apple that is focusing on health aspects of its customers, Microsoft has had a portal called Health Vault, while Google’s project Google Health shut down in 2011.

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Here’s a look at Nokia’s elegant iPhone killer

Nokia’s iPhone killer has been leaked in all its glory. We have leaked renders of the Nokia 8, the dual camera sporting flagship from HMD Global’s Nokia. So far, all the Nokia phones that launched in February looked distinctly like something Nokia would do, but they happened to be all mid-range devices. That indicated Nokia was still reserving its best for the last. And now the time has come.


Reliable leakster Evan Blass
has leaked the images of the upcoming Nokia 8. The phone looks perfectly poised to take on the best flagships in the world.

The design of the phone is classic Nokia

minimalist and simple. The display seems to taper around the edges giving a bezel-less look, but the phone does have distinct top and bottom bezels with capacitive navigation keys flanking the home button
(
with the fingerprint sensor embedded in it) on both sides. The Nokia moniker is visible in the top right corner. The shine on the renders indicates it will be using the same aluminium unibody chassis like the mid-range Nokia 6. Blass tweeted that the phone will be available in gold/blue, gold/copper, blue and steel colour variants.

On the back, is the vertical dual camera setup. The optics are provided by Nokia’s old ally

Zeiss. It’s not confirmed what dual camera approach Nokia will take with the Nokia 8.


Considering that the Nokia 8 will
compete with other flagship devices
, the hardware powering the phone is expected to be top class. It is likely we will be seeing a 5.3-inch quadHD display, Qualcomm’s latest flagship processor, either 4 or 6GB of RAM, and dual 13-megapixel Zeiss cameras.

The Nokia 8 will take on the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy Note 8 and the iPhone 8. It suddenly seems like 2017 is going to be all about the best 8!

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The iPhone Forever Changed How We Read Takes on the Internet

Image: Alex Cranz/Gadgetlayout/Youtube

Before the iPhone was released, there were
very few iPhone takes
on the internet. 10 years ago, that changed.
Now
there
are
lots
of
takes
.

Since Gadgetlayout couldn’t possibly write all the iPhone 10th anniversary think pieces we came up with, here are just a few of our favorites:

Fuck the iPhone, the Palm Pilot Changed Phones Forever

Image: Gadgetlayout

The iPhone Came Out Right After I Came Out of College

Image:
Max Pixel

The iPhone Gave Us So Many New Reasons to Touch Glass

Image: Gorilla Glass

My Dog Is Older Than the iPhone

Image: Alex Cranz/Gadgetlayout

I Watched the Announcement of the Original iPhone on My New iPhone and It Felt Nice

Image: Alex Cranz/Gadgetlayout/Youtube

The iPhone Changed the Way We Text, But Bernie Still Would Have Won

Image: C-SPAN/Gadgetlayout

I Was Unemployed and Could Not Afford the First iPhone

Image: Gadgetlayout

The iPhone Forever Changed the Way I Arrange Objects in My Pockets

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Apple to install glass repair machines in 25 countries making iPhone screen fixes easier

Hey Siri, where can I get my cracked iPhone screen fixed?

Apple Inc customers will soon have more choices as the company looks to reduce long wait times for iPhone repairs at its retail stores.

By the end of 2017, Apple will to put its proprietary machines for mending cracked iPhone glass in about 400 authorized third-party repair centers in 25 countries, company executives told Reuters.

Among the first recipients is Minneapolis-based Best Buy, which has long sold and serviced Apple products. The electronics retailer already has one of the screen-repair machines at a Miami-area store and one coming soon to an outlet in Sunnyvale, California.

Fixing cracked screens may seem like small potatoes, but it’s a multi-billion-dollar global business. The move is also a major shift for Apple. The company had previously restricted use of its so-called Horizon Machine to its nearly 500 retail stores and mail-in repair centers; and it has guarded its design closely.

The change also comes as eight U.S. states have launched “right to repair” bills aimed at prying open the tightly controlled repair networks of Apple and other high-tech manufacturers.

Apple said legislative pressure was not a factor in its decision to share its technology. It allowed Reuters to view and photograph the machines in action at a lab near its Cupertino, California headquarters. Until now, Apple had never formally acknowledged the Horizon Machine’s existence.

The initial rollout aims to put machines in 200, or about 4 percent, of Apple’s 4,800 authorized service providers worldwide over the next few months. The company plans to double that figure by the end of the year.

“We’ve been on a quest to expand our reach,” said Brian Naumann, senior director of service operations at Apple. He said repair wait times have grown at some of the company’s busiest retail stores.

Pilot testing started a year ago. In addition to Miami, a few machines already are operating at third-party repair centers in the Bay Area, London, Shanghai and Singapore. Shops in some countries where Apple has no retail presence will also be early recipients, including locations in Colombia, Norway and South Korea. Apple would not say how much its partners are paying for the equipment.

To be sure, any mall repair kiosk can replace a cracked iPhone screen. Apple says its customers can get their devices fixed at non-authorized shops without voiding their warranties as long as the technician caused no damage.

But the Horizon Machine is needed to remedy the trickiest mishaps, such as when the fingerprint sensor attached to the back of the glass gets damaged when a phone is dropped.

For security, only Apple’s fix-it machine can tell the iPhone’s processor, its silicon brain, to recognize a replacement sensor. Without it, the iPhone won’t unlock with the touch of a finger. Banking apps that require a fingerprint won’t work either, including the Apple Pay digital wallet.

“RIGHT TO REPAIR” GAINING STEAM

Apple has sold more than 1 billion iPhones worldwide, many to customers who don’t live near an Apple Store or an authorized third-party repair center.

For fixes, many have turned to mom-and-pop shops and independent technicians that now dominate the trade. Research firm IBISWorld estimates the global cell phone repair business generates about $4 billion in revenue per year.

Many of these entrepreneurs do good work. Some don’t. All use copycat parts because Apple, like other major manufacturers, doesn’t supply original parts or repair manuals to anyone but authorized service partners.

Big companies defend this arrangement as the only way they can guarantee high-quality repair work and keep hackers away from the proprietary software that makes their products tick.

Consumer advocates, however, say their aim is to wring outsized profits from repairs. Independent technicians often charge less than the cost of a factory fix.

Enter right-to-repair bills. New York, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas and Wyoming have introduced legislation looking to aid small shops and do-it-yourself tinkerers.

These proposed measures would require manufacturers to supply repair manuals, diagnostic tools and authentic replacement parts at fair prices to independent technicians and the general public.

Apple, heavy equipment manufacturer Caterpillar Inc and medical device maker Medtronic Plc have lobbied against New York’s bill. In Nebraska, Apple sent its state and local lobbying chief Steve Kester to visit the Republican lawmaker sponsoring that state’s measure.

“Apple is telling me this is a bad thing because you’re going to have a mecca for hackers in Nebraska,” State Sen. Lydia Brasch said of Kester’s February visit.

Apple hasn’t commented on the bills, but a trade group it belongs to contends the Nebraska measure would force the company to divulge how it secures sensitive data on the iPhone.

“Think about how much of our personal lives are in this device,” said Mike Lanigan, head engineer for Apple’s service efforts.

Apple got into the screen-fixing business just three years ago with the introduction of the iPhone 5. Up until then, customers whose phones were out of warranty paid a “repair” fee, but Apple simply replaced the entire phone.

Lanigan said customers have been requesting repair service since shortly after the introduction of the iPhone in 2007, but the company waited until it could perfect the process.

“We view the service aspect of this as all part of the overall Apple experience,” Lanigan said.

Apple doesn’t break out repair revenue in its financial statements. Analysts estimate it at $1 billion to $2 billion annually for all products.

As Apple’s screen mending has matured, its prices have dropped to $129 to $149, depending on screen size, from $229. That’s competitive with many independent shops for newer iPhones. Still, some technicians charge as little as $60 to fix older models.

Apple says its process aims to make the display look like it just came out of the box. To demonstrate, the company allowed Reuters to observe the Horizon Machine at a repair lab in Sunnyvale, California.

In the cavernous, brightly lit lab painted in Apple’s signature sparkling white, two lab technicians clad in T-shirts, shorts and tennis shoes scurried between rows of long white metal tables stuffed with test equipment.

Dozens of Horizon Machines lined the tables. The contraptions, gray metal boxes the size of a microwave with a swing-out windowed door, vary slightly in shape depending on the model of iPhone they repair. Apple would not say where the machines were made or by whom.

In a smaller training room, a technician laid out the tools Apple uses to fix iPhone screens: special screwdrivers for the iPhone’s five- and three-lobed screws, a custom suction-cup for loosening the screen without tearing the delicate ribbon cables behind it, and a press to squeeze iPhone 7s to ensure waterproofing.

Once the new screen is mounted, the iPhone goes into the Horizon Machine, which allows Apple’s software to communicate with the fresh hardware. Over the course of 10 to 12 minutes, the machine talks to the phone’s operating system to pair the fingerprint sensor to the phone’s brain.

While that unfolds, a mechanical finger jabs the screen in multiple places to test the touch-sensitive surface. The machine also fine tunes the display and software to match the precise colors and calibration of the original.

“We design for a customer experience that exceeds anything our competitors try to do,” said Naumann, Apple’s service chief. “We endeavor to make it right at the same standard as when the customer bought the product.”

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Apple’s Patented iPhone Panic Button Might Not Make You Much Safer

Photo: AP

Could future iPhones come with a built-in panic button to discreetly summon the cops? It’s certainly a possibility, judging by Apple’s
recent patent filings
.

According to a
patent
granted to Apple on Tuesday for “Biometric Initiated Communication,” the panic button could operate from a number of inputs including “a particular finger or finger sequence,” “a particular timing or cadence,” or whether input was “entered with a particular force.”

One possible application of the button is “to call emergency services without that fact being known to an assailant or other aggressive person that prompted the emergency call,” and potentially send GPS data and/or streaming audio or video to the authorities. It could also be used to execute a wipe of any crucial data on the phone, like social security numbers.

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It’s certainly a feature that at face value sounds suitably pro-safety. But whether or not a cell phone panic button ends up being much more than
security theater
-something designed to provide the reassuring illusion of safety instead of actual safety-may end up relying on a lot of factors that can’t be engineered into a phone.

A panic button by definition can only be as effective as the response it summons; while it may offer a new way to summon the cops, your mileage may vary depending on who those cops are. A 2008
Bureau of Justice Statistics survey
concluded that just 28.3% of three violent crimes (robbery, aggravated assault and simple assault) were responded to within five minutes, another third was responded to within 6-10 minutes and the rest much longer, at 11 minutes to an hour. Just one third of property crimes were responded to within 10 minutes.

But individual police departments can do much worse,
like in Baltimore
, where in certain neighborhoods a domestic violence call could take an average of 18 minutes to reach an officer. According to the

Economist

, police in New Orleans took an average of 20 minutes to reach priority calls in 2015, while at one point Detroit police were
taking close to an hour
to respond to “priority” calls.

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It’s tough to imagine surreptitious panic button calls-especially in situations where the user might not be able to talk directly with a dispatcher-would do much better. A good comparison might be home security systems.

The

New York Times

estimated some 36 million security systems around the U.S. in 2010, which is much less than the number of
estimated iPhones
. Those stationary security systems are already a
low police response priority
, due in part to a high rate of false alarms. (In 2011, the Detroit Police Department decided only to respond to burglar alarms after they were
verified by the security company
.) The problem of false alarms and where and how to direct police resources won’t be made easier by putting panic buttons in millions of phones, especially when considering recent research has found
cell phone butt dials
might already constitute a huge percentage of 911 calls.

There’s also the continued problem of
police shootings in the U.S.
, in which
vague or incomplete
information about suspects can play a contributing role.

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But Apple is far from the first to come up with the idea of equipping phones with some kind of panic button.

Earlier this month, the Mexican city of Juarez released the “No estoy sola” (“I am not alone”) app, which dispatches text messages to emergency contacts with a link to the location of the user. Another app developed by Kenyan university student Edwin Inganji had
similar functionality
, but also relayed information to authorities.

In India, which last year rolled out a plan to equip all new phones with panic buttons and GPS by 2018, the

New York Times

noted some advocates fighting the country’s epidemic of sexual assault were optimistic while others cautioned it wouldn’t solve deep-rooted problems with the responsiveness and professionalism of police forces in India.

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[
CNBC
]

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Is It Really Time For Apple to Add Wireless Charging to the iPhone?

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GIF: Gadgetlayout

Wireless charging has struggled for years to gain ground in consumer electronics. For one hot second, it looked like the option would be available in every smartphone, then manufacturers started to bail out, then it started to come back. And now, we have the biggest confirmation yet that Apple is jumping into the game. Has the time finally come?

Today, the CEO of Wistron which has signed on to assemble Apple products in India, sent the tech press
into a frenzy
when he appeared to confirm that the new iPhone will feature wireless charging and be fully waterproof. Apple
recently partnered
with Wistron to assemble older generations of the iPhone as a method of expanding its presence in India. CEO Robert Hwang’s comments are a bit confusing. Following a shareholder meeting, 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.”

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His statement certainly appears to mean that his company is figuring out the logistics of adding wireless charging and waterproofing to the assembly process. But at the moment, Wistron is only producing the iPhone SE. Apple, of course, isn’t clearing anything up.

The addition of wireless charging to the new iPhone has been a rumor for quite some time. The
biggest confirmation
we’ve had before today was the fact that Apple has joined the
Wireless Power Consortium
and was throwing its weight behind the “Qi” standard.

Standardization has been one of the
biggest issues
plaguing the adoption of wireless charging tech. It seemed like we were making some real progress in sorting it all out when the folks behind the PMA and the A4WP standards came together to form the
AirFuel Alliance
. But that group is still promoting multiple technologies. Qi is the oldest wireless charging standard and therefore has had more time to be adopted by accessory manufacturers. Ikea has even been incorporating
Qi-certified tech
into its furniture.

Some devices support both PMA and Qi, most notably Samsung’s Galaxy S8. Reviewers
found
that the S8 could actually fully charge its battery faster with “fast wireless charging” than the iPhone could charge its lower capacity battery with wired charging. But the roll out wasn’t perfect and
many users found
that wireless chargers that were manufactured before the S8 was released wouldn’t work in fast-charging mode, including Samsung’s own chargers. This seems to indicate that Samsung made some adjustments to its wireless charging since the S7 was released.

Sponsored

Google
notably offered
wireless Qi charging on the Nexus 5 and the Nexus 6, but then decided it wasn’t worth it with the subsequent Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P. A
survey
at the time found that 16 percent of consumers were charging their devices wirelessly. The option increases manufacturing costs and if users aren’t using it, what’s the point?

So, if Apple is joining the wireless club, why not just offer both standards like the Samsung Galaxy S8? There’s no way to say for sure, but offering dual-mode charging is slightly more expensive and does add a little bit of bulk to the phone. More likely, Apple has been waiting for the time that they feel the technology has matured. Perhaps it believes the time has come to pick a side and throwing its
16.9 percent
market share behind the Qi standard could solidify a tipping point in the wireless charging wars.

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Another question is do people even want wireless charging? The obvious answer would seem to be yes. Why wouldn’t you? Well, you have to place your phone on a wireless charging plate in a specific location and that limits your ability to easily use the phone while it’s charging. Full on,
midair wireless
isn’t viable yet.

But what’s the harm in having both wired and wireless charging? There’s not really a downside apart from the aforementioned extra bulk and cost. One annoying scenario would be that wireless catches on, standards still aren’t worked out, and manufacturers drop wired charging altogether. One of the beautiful possibilites of wireless charging is going to various locations and having the unobtrusive powermats widely available. Starbucks has
rolled out
this option at some of its locations, but it went with the PMA standard. Again, this is just annoying, not the end of the world. But it’s way easier to carry around a small cord than it is to always have a charging plate.

Maybe Apple’s move will be just the push that the industry needs to work out the kinks in this tech. Maybe this rumor is totally unfounded. We’ll find out soon.

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[
Nikkei
via
The Verge
]