AppleInsider is supported by its audience and may earn commission as an Amazon Associate and affiliate partner on qualifying purchases. These affiliate partnerships do not influence our editorial content.
At launch, the iPhone 8 will recharge via inductive wireless technology at a rate comparable to the standard 5-watt charger that ships with the handset. But Apple plans to improve that speed with a future software update.
Apple's plans were revealed Tuesday by Jim Dalrymple of The Loop in this iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus review. Without getting into specifics, Dalrymple said that the iPhone 8 units will see a slight increase in wireless charging capacity later this year.
According to him, the iPhone 8 currently charges at a rate equal to the 5-watt wall adapter in the box. Apple-recommended third-party charging pads from Belkin and Mophie available at launch work at a higher 7.5-watt rate.
It's unclear whether Apple will bump up from 5 watts to 7.5 watts, or potentially more. Wireless inductive charging in the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X is based on the Wireless Power Consortium's Qi standard, which supports 15-watt "fast" charging with its 1.2.x specification.
Rumors have suggested Apple's iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X will top off with 7.5-watt charging. But with the news that a firmware update can and will boost charging speeds later this year, it's unknown whether Qi 1.2.x 15-watt charging is a possibility.
Apple won't offer its own wireless charging pad at launch, but plans to enter the fray next year with AirPower, a proprietary modification of Qi that will support Apple Watch Series 3 and new AirPods case charging. Pricing and launch date for AirPower remain unknown, though AppleInsider's sources have indicated the product is likely to launch in the first quarter of 2018.