KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo issued a note to clients this morning, obtained by MacRumors, in which he predicted that Apple’s upcoming iPhone 8 would manage to squeeze a Plus-sized battery into a smaller 4.7-inch form factor, possibly having even better battery life than a 5.5-inch LCD iPhone.
This will be achieved by utilizing a pricier stacked logic board design—also known as a substrate-like PCB (SLP) mainboard—that would create additional space inside the device to accommodate a significantly larger battery.
The design should permit Apple’s engineers to squeeze a Plus-sized battery inside a device with a power-sipping, edge-to-edge OLED display and having similar dimensions to a 4.7-inch iPhone.
Here’s a passage from Kuo’s report:
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-inch LCD iPhone, and have comparable battery capacity (equipped with around 2,700 mAh L-shaped 2-cell battery pack) to a 5.5-inch LCD iPhone.
Were iPhone 8 to use a battery similar to that inside 5.5-inch iPhones, that’d be a 50 percent power boost versus a 4.7-inch device. In fact, iPhone 8 could have even better battery life compared to the 2,900 mAh battery inside 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus models.
That’s because the phone will switch to an OLED display which is significantly more energy efficient than its LCD counterpart as it doesn’t need a backlight. The stacked mainboard design could result in up to 80 percent higher manufacturing costs for the component, supporting thesis that iPhone 8 will have a premium price tag of $1,000+.
The analyst speculated that the iterative LCD-based iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus upgrades may not use stacked mainboard design, meaning their battery life could be comparable to the current iPhone 7 family.
Assuming Kuo knows what he’s talking about, his note could serve as yet another indication that iPhone 8 will indeed feature an all-new design with an edge-to-edge display and no or minimal “chin,” a relatively large area below the display.
KGI’s report comes just as Apple has officially joined the Wireless Power Consortium amid rumors that iPhone 8 would include wireless inductive charging, based upon the Qi standard overseen by the consortium.