iPhone 8 said to offer Bluetooth 5 and wireless charging via Broadcom chip

JPMorgan said in yesterday’s note to clients ahead of Apple’s earnings report that iPhone 8 would implement support for the latest Bluetooth 5.0 standard and wireless charging via a Broadcom chip. Broadcom’s chips support both PMA and Qi wireless charging standards, but it’s unclear if iPhone 8 might use either of them or rely on Apple’s custom version of these standards.

At any rate, Apple’s business could add between $500 million and $600 million to Broadcom’s annualized revenues, JPMorgan predicted. Though the note doesn’t say which new iPhone models will pack wireless charging, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said before that all 2017 iPhones would offer this feature.

Galaxy S8 is the world’s first phone with support for the new Bluetooth 5.0 standard, which promises to double the speed and quadruple the range. Bluetooth 5.0 also allows multiple devices to be used at the same time, meaning iPhone 8 could allow two users to watch a movie on the device with two sets of Bluetooth headphones.

Bluetooth 5.0 was certified by Bluetooth Special Interest Group back in June 2016. Apple is a promoting member of the organization with voting rights.

In February of this year, Apple joined Wireless Power Consortium, potentially giving some credence to rumors about wireless charging in iPhone 8. The Cupertino company is listed as a member on the organization’s website.

There are currently 213 members of the consortium.

In 2016 year, 152 different brands registered a Qi-compliant product on the official Wireless Power Consortium website, up from 86 in 2015. The Qi protocol is currently used by more than 200 companies and is in 1343 products you can buy now. Apple Watch uses a bespoke version of the Qi wireless charging standard that’s incompatible with existing Qi chargers.

JPMorgan said this morning that there’s a “high likelihood” that Apple will pre-announce and preview iPhone 8 at WWDC next month, ahead of its launch in the fall. But if you ask another investment firm—Deutsche Bank—no new iPhone 8 will arrive this year.

“Several supply chain reports have suggested that key component shortages and technical challenges could delay the release of a high-end iPhone 8 device this fall,” reads Deutsche Bank’s report. “We believe this report further underscores the uncertainty around the timing of Apple’s next-generation iPhone model”.

Photo: ON Charge magnetic wireless charging solution for current iPhones