A newly leaked component shows what is clearly an inductive coil, claimed to be for the "iPhone 8," with an apparent female Lightning socket. But unanswerable questions surround the provenance of the part.
A post made earlier this week on Slashleaks claims to show a genuine Apple part for either the "iPhone 8" internals, or external charging pad. The center of the part is clearly a charging coil, and a label on the back identifying it as conforming to the Qi specification, so the part is confirmed to be for wireless charging of some sort.
Adding to speculation that the part is authentic, the socket end appears to be a Lightning receptacle. The socket has eight solder points — where USB-C has 12, and different flavors of USB 3.0 have either four or six solder points.
When compared to other, legitimate Lightning connectors, the leaked part has not only the same number of pins, but also identical spacing for ground connectors at the sides.
Unlike most Lightning connectors, which have retention latches on the side, the alleged Apple part instead has two top latches for retention. However, the port could still be Lightning, as there are a number of different packages that Lightning receptacles come in for different mounting requirements.
Based on the size of known Lightning sockets, the board assembly is about 2.5 inches wide at the point of maximum width of the coil and approximately four inches long at its longest point. While relatively large, it still would fit in the interior of the expected dimensions of the "iPhone 8," or could possibly be used for the coil assembly in an external charging pad.
If the data on the label from the back of the device is correct, expected voltage is between 5V and 12V with power between 0.6A and 2A.
However, that's where the firm data points stop. There are three lines of digitally obscured text, probably from the original social media post which was eradicated somewhere along the line, and AppleInsider has not as of yet found the original posting. There are also no clear markings that point to an Apple part, or conform to any known Apple numbering scheme for parts.
Additionally, the markings on the two large chips on the right side of the image are digitally obscured. It is not clear why somebody claiming to have an Apple part that confirms a feature in an unannounced phone would erase that possible point of proof — unless it points to another device entirely.
It's also possible that the accessory could have been made by a third-party manufacturer. Apple has partnered with such companies ahead of product launches — most notably Logitech, which built Smart Connector keyboards for the iPad Pro before the product was publicly revealed.
Apple is expected to unveil not only the "iPhone 8," but also an "iPhone 7s" lineup in September. It's expected that all three models will include support for inductive wireless charging.