Ongoing rumors that Apple will introduce wireless charging to a future generation of iPhone have been bolstered by a new report, with supply chain sources claiming that Lite-On Semiconductor has received a sizable order to supply components for the forthcoming "iPhone 8."
DigiTimes reports that sources of the Chinese-language Commercial Times allege Lite-On Semi obtained "half of the orders for GPP bridge rectifiers that will be used in the wireless charger for the upcoming iPhones."
Lite-on Semi responded to the report in a filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange, advising it does not comment on customers or orders. In response to the rumor, the company's share price rallied to its daily 10% limit, closing today at NT$28.75 ($0.91).
If true, this could make Lite-on Semi a second provider of wireless charging components to Apple, or contradict a previous inference. Late last year, wireless charging startup Energous signed a deal with Dialog Semiconductor to develop and market hardware components, with Energous CEO Steve Rizzone making a a tenuous reference to Apple being a major customer during CES.
Wireless charging has been a staple of rumors for future iPhones for some time, though it may take a different form to typical charging systems used by Android smartphones. Energous has demonstrated a way to transmit energy over a long distance, instead of relying on inductive charging coils that require devices to be placed on a mat. If practical, the Energous technology potentially allows a properly-equipped iPhone to be charged while in use.
Lite-On has been a component supplier for Apple for more than a decade. It is not known if the Lite-On components identified in the report can be used for long-range charging or for more traditional wireless charging purposes.
Apple itself has also received patents relating to long-range wireless charging of low-power devices, demonstrating it has previously investigated using the technology in its products. Apple currently only uses wireless charging in the Apple Watch.