2018 iPhones May Feature Faster and More Efficient Wireless Charging With Switch to Copper Coil

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A translated China Times report today claims that the wireless charging coil on at least one of Apple's widely rumored trio of 2018 iPhones will be made from copper wire instead of FPC, short for ferrite polymer composite, allowing for both faster and more efficient wireless charging from a technical standpoint.

iPhone X's wireless charging coil visible under X-ray via iFixit/Creative Electron

Essentially, the report claims that Apple will be switching from thinner FPC coils with higher resistance to thicker copper wire coils with lower resistance for the wireless charging receiver built into iPhones.
Since high power and high efficiency are the trend of wireless charging, it is expected that at least one of the three iPhones in 2018 will abandon the FPC to adopt a copper coil solution to achieve the above goal, and because the copper wire coil resistance is small. It can also offset the thermal effects generated by the increase in power.
The reduced resistance would allow Apple to increase the power threshold that iPhones can safely handle via wireless charging, without overheating, which could result in faster and more efficient charging via Qi-certified mats, although this would still depend on the wattage that a particular mat outputs.

For context, FPC is a mixture of iron, at least one other metal, and plastic, whereas copper is a more pure material. Both have electromagnetic induction properties, making them suitable for wireless charging coils.

The latest iPhones support wireless charging at up to 7.5W, which actually isn't much faster than wired charging with a 5W power adapter, due to the efficiency limitations of the FPC coil. The switch to copper would yield improvements, assuming that Apple found a way to fit the thicker coil in its next iPhones.

Apple is expected to unveil its 2018 iPhones at Steve Jobs Theater in September, but the company has yet to announce a date for the event.

Article Link: 2018 iPhones May Feature Faster and More Efficient Wireless Charging With Switch to Copper Coil
 

macduke

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I have wondered about this in relation to AirPower. I think they delayed it because they wanted to release it with higher output levels, but that would give away features in future devices. If there is only one device which gets it, it will probably be the iPhone X Plus as it would have more room inside for a thicker charging coil.
 

roland.g

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Apr 11, 2005
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Sound like an iPhone X plus feature. The larger device would allow for a thicker coil by moving around some internals and not having the device be any thicker than the regular X. Then they can tout the faster charging as a Plus Only feature. If the one model to get it was the LCD model, it would sport faster charging than their flagship and that wouldn’t make sense.
 

BvizioN

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I have no doubts faster charging would be beneficial for many many people. Myself i place my iPhone X every evening before I go to bed on the charging matt and pick it up in the morning, During that time I sleep wouln't care how fast it does it. But when I am travelling, if I am running low on battery obviously it would be great it if it would charge quicker.
 
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mtneer

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Would this work with standard Qi chargers or would this need a new, more powerful Qi "plus" mat; or worse - Apple's own proprietary charging mat?
 

Bornee35

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Would this work with standard Qi chargers or would this need a new, more powerful Qi "plus" mat; or worse - Apple's own proprietary charging mat?
Qi is the standard, any coil that can receive power through induction can use it.
 
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redheeler

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All these minor improvements are shaping up to be an overall major improvement. Faster wireless charging, faster and more reliable LTE, faster processor, possibly more RAM, etc.
So basically, things that can be expected for any new iPhone, even an S revision. Good to see Apple getting praised for simply not releasing a complete disappointment. ;)
 

newyorksole

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All these minor improvements are shaping up to be an overall major improvement. Faster wireless charging, faster and more reliable LTE, faster processor, possibly more RAM, etc.
Yooo that’s exactly what I was thinking. I’m so hyped for this lineup. Can’t wait.
 

69Mustang

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In between a rock and a hard place
Would this work with standard Qi chargers or would this need a new, more powerful Qi "plus" mat; or worse - Apple's own proprietary charging mat?
There's no need for more powerful mats. Chargers routinely offer up to 15W of charging power. The 7.5W limitation on iPhones was Apple's choice. Initially it seemed weird that iPhones charged at such low power versus other phones. The material in the coil makes that decision more clearly understandable... if the rumors are true, of course. It seems Apple was using a bit of caution with tech they'd never previously used in phones.
 

newyorksole

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So the normal upgrade path.

Faster charging isn’t an annual thing and neither is faster LTE.

Faster processor yes of course and iOS 12 will allow for more speed improvements.

More RAM also doesn’t happen annually, but will hopefully happen this year.
 
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jerryk

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Seems like a bit of waste of engineering effort. My Samsung s8 has fast wireless charging that will charge the phone from flat to 100% in 90 minutes. Normally it is 2-3 hours on regular wireless charging.

But with wireless charging your phone never even remotely close to 0%. You end up having mutiple charging pads in your home, work, car, etc. So the phone is almost always at 75-80% and needs 20 minutes or less to top off, via fast or slow charging.
 
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TheFluffyDuck

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Jul 26, 2012
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Is anybody else let down by Apples late and lacklustre wireless charging? They held off for 5 years, driving speculation we should get some Apple revolution solution to wireless charging. What do we get? Qi.

Wake me up with WiTricity ranges become standard.
 
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TheShadowKnows!

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I have no doubts faster charging would be beneficial for many many people. Myself i place my iPhone X every evening before I go to bed on the charging matt and pick it up in the morning, During that time I sleep would care how fast it does it. But when I am travelling, if I am running low on battery obviously it would be great it if it would charge quicker.
Dude, if you are traveling, would you be be packing a wireless charger?

[Unless Qi chargers become ubiquitous, most likely than not, you will be sporting the old-world, wired charger.]
 

BvizioN

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Dude, if you are traveling, would you be be packing a wireless charger?

[Unless Qi chargers become ubiquitous, most likely than not, you will be sporting the old-world, wired charger.]
Assuming that wireless charging is the way to go and is gonna replace the existing wired one, then I don't see why not? I wouldn't be packing one maybe (unless Apple removes the charging port and I am sure they will) but I dont think 50 more grams or something is going to be an issue to me. Besides, I believe these things will be integrated everywhere soon.
But when I say quicker earlier, I did not just mean wireless. Wired as well. Without having to pay £70 or so.
 
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827538

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As an electronic engineer I’ve always found the S versions a lot more interesting.

I’ve upgraded 3GS > 4S > 5S > 6S and I’ll likely get this.

This TSMC 7nm processor should be something to behold, Apple has really impressed me with the A-series chip design. Probably the best all round, most efficiently design chip in the world of smartphones.

I’m hoping Intel’s XMM 7560 is a good improvement over last years slightly lacking modem, I’d still rather have a Qualcom X20. Also Band 71 support hopefully.

Better FaceID, $100 cheaper, better camera, better wireless charging, new 18W fast charger with USB-C at one end.

Personally they all look like black slabs which is fine for me, it’s what’s inside that really gets me interested.