The CEO of Apple iPhone manufacturer Wistron has let slip that the next iPhone will include wireless charging.
Wireless charging has featured on Android phones for several years, but Apple in typical style has held back, leaving the iPhone either stuck with cords or third-party wireless battery cases and other gadgets.
That situation could change on the next iPhone if details from relatively new Apple supplier Wistron are correct. Wistron assembles some iPhone models in India, and according to its CEO, Robert Hwang, it’s had to tweak its assembly processes for wireless charging.
“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,” Hwang told reporters after Wistron’s shareholder meeting.
Hwang’s slip-up is significant given the secrecy requirements Apple imposes on its suppliers and Wistron’s normal reticence on market speculation.
The company only last month started producing the iPhone SE at a dedicated plant in India separate to its existing facilities for other smartphones. Apple said Wistron would initially produce “a small number of iPhone SE handsets”.
Hwang didn’t deviate from Apple’s statement, saying only that a “small number” of iPhones were being made without revealing specific figures. He added that iPhones volumes will depend on upcoming talks between Apple and the Indian government.
Hwang’s comments give further weight to images leaked this week of glass back panels allegedly for the iPhone 8, iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus, which are designed to allow wireless charging.
Apple in February also joined the Wireless Power Consortium as a board member. The group drives the Qi wireless charging standard, of which Apple uses a customized variant in its Watch and wireless charging plate.