After a report from the Wall Street Journal which stated that the rumoured iPhone 8 will come with USB Type-C ports instead of the traditional Lightning ports, there are new twists to that story. According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the variants of iPhone 8 will continue using the Lightning ports. However, these connectors will be updated to add the USB-C Power Delivery charging standard for charging the batteries faster.
This includes the proposed 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models, as well as a completely new model featuring an OLED screen and a larger L-shaped battery.
The analyst was quoted in research note obtained by MacRumors: “New 2H17 models may all support fast charging. We believe all three new iPhones launching in 2H17 will support fast charging by the adoption of Type-C Power Delivery technology (while still retaining the Lightning port). A key technical challenge lies with ensuring product safety and stable data transmission during a fast charge. In order to achieve that goal, we think Apple will adopt TI’s power management and Cypress’s Power Delivery chip solutions for the new iPhone models. We note the OLED version may have a faster charging speed thanks to a 2-cell L shaped battery pack design.”
In the larger scheme of things, it makes sense for Apple to retain the Lightning port on the iPhone 8 primarily because has a slimmer profile than the USB-C port, and also because a lot of revenue comes in from the MFi (Made for iPhone) licensing programme.
New fingerprint sensor
There are speculations that Apple will release two versions of the next iPhone 8 – with OLED displays and at least two with the traditional IPS LCD displays.
Most of the rumours (some of them claiming to be derived from Apple patents) state that the OLED version will be a more premium device, with a full glass overlay on the front, and hence might ditch the TouchID/Home button completely. Instead, it is said to feature a fingerprint scanner that’s integrated into the display.
In a report from DigiTimes, its industry sources claimed the following – “Apple has selected neither Synaptics’ Natural ID touch fingerprint sensor nor Qualcomm’s Sense ID fingerprint technology for its new OLED iPhones, and decided to use its own Authentec algorithm combined with Privaris glass identification technology to redesign a new fingerprint ID solution, according to industry sources.”
The existing capacitive button which has Touch ID fingerprint sensor technology built into it, comes from AuthenTec, which Apple acquired in 2012.
Furthermore, DigiTimes’s sources (presumably within Apple’s supply chain) were also quoted to be saying that “Apple’s in-house developed fingerprint ID solution will be fabricated at TSMC’s 12-inch line using 65nm process technology, said the sources, adding that production for the new OLED iPhone is unlikely to start until September due to the redesigned fingerprint ID solution.”
Apart from these, there are rumours that Apple might throw in an iris scanner for the iPhone 8, and edge-to-edge display and wireless charging.