Battery life is a perennial concern with smartphones, and the iPhone is no different.
While there are incremental improvements year-on-year, Apple typically favours making the premium device ever-thinner and lighter, rather than beefing up the battery — however much customers might want it.
But the latest rumours suggest that the forthcoming iPhone 8 might be getting a hefty battery upgrade.
Ming-Chi Kuo, a reliable KGI Securities analyst with sources in Apple’s supply chain, is reporting that Apple is beefing up the battery in the upcoming iPhone, according to a research note seen by MacRumors and AppleInsider.
The technology inside the battery itself isn’t supposed to be getting wildly better — but everything else is. While 2016’s iPhone 7 was only an incremental improvement on its predecessor, the iPhone 8 is expected to have a radical design overhaul, including a new edge-to-edge screen.
Accompanying this are two key changes that will boost battery life, Ming-Chi Kuo says:
- The logic board in the iPhone 8 will have a “stacked” design — letting it take up less space, and leave more space for the battery. This, combined with the edge-to-edge screen, should let the iPhone have a bigger battery than in previous years while being smaller overall. Ming-Chi Kuo predicts it will be the same size as the 4.7-inch iPhone 7, but will come with a 5.1-5.2-inch screen, and a battery the similar size as the one in the (5.5-inch-screened) iPhone 7 Plus — 2,700 mAh (versus the 2,900mAh iPhone 7 Plus).
- The iPhone 8 will have a more energy-efficient OLED screen, letting the battery last longer. The iPhone has historically come with LCD screen tech, but OLED uses less energy, meaning the battery could last longer compared to previous Plus models — despite having a (slightly) smaller battery.
In short: The phone will be smaller, the battery will be bigger, and the screen will be more efficient — all adding up to a welcome boost in battery life.
Right now, these are unconfirmed rumours, and Apple almost never comments on products before they’re officially announced. But Ming-Chi Kuo has a solid track record for breaking iPhone news, and it fits with what else we’ve heard.
There have been reports circulating for a while that the iPhone 8 will have a “full-face” screen. And on Monday, the Korea Herald reported that Samsung’s display business has received a contract from Apple for 60 million OLED display units.
Apple is expected to launch three models of iPhone in the Autumn in different sizes — one of which will be the official iPhone 8, named in some reports as the “iPhone X.” (It’s the tenth anniversary of the launch of the iPhone.) But it might not come cheap: It may cost more than $US1,000 (£800).
The iPhone 8 is also expected to come with wireless charging, after Apple joined the industry group Wireless Power Consortium late last week.
Here’s a quote from Ming-Chi Kuo, via MacRumors (emphasis ours):
“As battery material tech isn’t likely to see major breakthroughs in the next 3-5 years, mainboard area can only be reduced via stacked SLP, which makes space for larger battery and extended usage time. Thanks to stacked SLP, we expect the OLED iPhone to have similar dimensions to a 4.7″ TFT-LCD iPhone, and have comparable battery capacity (equipped with around 2,700 mAh L-shaped 2-cell battery pack) to a 5.5” TFT-LCD iPhone. The battery life of the OLED iPhone could be better than that of the 5.5″ TFT-LCD model as OLED panels are more energy-efficient than their TFT-LCD counterparts.”