According to leak after leak, the 2017 iPhone will have a radical new design, get significantly larger and more expensive but I can also exclusively reveal two essential new additions the range has been crying out for for years…
Speaking with famed leaker and good friend Sonny Dickson, I have learnt the following:
- Get Ready For Fast Charging
Inside all three new 2017 iPhones (Dickson reiterates previous sources that there will be three distinct new models) will be a new ‘Tristar 3, Hydra’ chip which manages the charging port.
“In normal people words… [it] will include fast charging,” he explained. But before you celebrate there are a couple of key unknowns here.
Firstly whether the fast charging will be compatible with any current fast charging standards. Since this isn’t by Qualcomm it won’t be “Quick Charge” but there is a chance it could be the fast charging built into USB 3.1 – a standardApple AAPL +1.42% is very keen on across the MacBook range – though I highly doubt we’ll see a switch from Lightning due to its lucrative proprietary licensing fees.
Secondly just because the port can handle fast charging doesn’t mean Apple wants to implement it. After all current iPhones can charge more quickly using an iPad charger (try it out) but Apple never supplies this more powerful charger in the box despite the high price tag. Clearly, for whatever reason, Apple wants it to remain off the radar for mainstream customers.
And lastly there’s no mention of wireless charging, but I remain hopeful given the change of chassis material.
- Tap to Wake Is An ‘iPhone 8’ Exclusive
Just because three new iPhone models are expected in 2017, doesn’t mean there will be parity between them.
Dickson explains that while Apple is finally catching up to Android rivals by adding Tap To Wake, it will only feature on the so-called ‘iPhone 8’ which will feature a brand new design rather than the iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus which will mimic Apple designs since the iPhone 6 and launch alongside it.
This seems a strange one to me given Tap To Wake – the action of being able to tap a phone screen to easily preview your notifications – is a staple of many low end Android phones (queue some laughter from Android owners).
That said Dickson’s source says it is “currently on the roadmap” for the iPhone 8 only, which means things could change. Typically Apple only finalises the feature set for its new iPhones in Q1.
Necessary Imitation Behind Innovation?
Let’s face it, Apple needs a big 2017 to blow away the notion (rightly or wrongly) that declining iPhone sales and three generations of visually similar models mean it has forgotten how to innovate. But the company also needs to do some essential housekeeping and catch up with key features it has disregarded for too long.
Consequently while the ‘All Curve’ OLED display and enhanced dual camera tech may grab all the headlines on release, remember that Tap to Wake and fast charging (in particular) are likely to be just as useful in day-to-day operation.
Good things come to those who wait, eventually…