Rumor: Apple to improve battery life in next-gen iPhone via 2-cell design, transition to OLED display

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Date: Thursday, April 27th, 2017, 05:41
Category: battery, Hardware, iPhone, Lightning, Rumor, USB-C

The current rumor has it that the next-gen iPhone’s battery will be able to get over power consumption and space-related hurdles, potentially allowing for longer battery life than ever.

Rumor has it that this year’s flagship “iPhone 8” will boast a large 2,700 mAh battery, on par with the high-end 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus.

The next-gen iPhone is said to have dimensions similar to the 4.7-inch iPhone 7, which features a 1,960 mAh capacity battery, while the iPhone 7 Plus has a 2,900 mAh battery.

It’s thought that Apple will pull this off by shrinking the parts inside its flagship next-gen handset, which is rumored to debut in September.

According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple plans to use a stacked logic board, called a substrate-like PCB mainboard, to allow more space inside of the “iPhone 8” chassis.

By shrinking the size of the mainboard, Apple may be able to allow for greater energy efficiency. The one-two punch of a larger battery and more efficient parts has led Kuo to predict that the “iPhone 8” could boast even better battery life than the iPhone 7 Plus.

It’s also rumored that the next-gen iPhone will switch to an OLED display, thereby abandoning the legacy LCD panels found in all iPhone models to date. This could allow for a longer battery life given that OLED displays do not require a backlight and are typically thinner than their LCD counterparts, once again freeing up more valuable space within the iPhone’s design.

Like the smaller mainboard, OLED is more efficient too, consuming less power in some use cases thanks to the absence of a backlight. While an entire LCD screen requires backlighting, OLED pixels are individually lit, saving space and also not using energy for “black,” or unlit, pixels.

The changes allow for potentially significant improvements, as battery technology itself has not dramatically improved in recent years. Chips and other parts continue to get smaller and more power efficient, paving the way for more space for batteries.

Apple is said to be planning to take advantage of expanded space within the “iPhone 8” with an entirely new 2-cell, L-shaped battery design. According to Kuo, this new battery design will also allow for faster charging speeds.

The company is also said to be working on faster charging technologies for the handset. It’s rumored that Apple will accomplish this via USB Type-C Power Delivery issued over a Lightning cable.

Combined with the 2-cell, L-shaped battery pack design, Apple could make the “iPhone 8” battery replenish faster than any model before it.

Apple has also been rumored to be incorporating contact-based wireless charging, which would allow users to power their devices by placing them on a compatible charging pad.

Prospective “iPhone 8” buyers will probably still end up charging their handset at least every night. It will take a major shakeup to current battery technology to achieve considerable gains in any mobile device.

Apple’s current battery life king in the iPhone lineup is the iPhone 7 Plus, which boasts up to 13 hours of internet use on LTE, or up to 15 hours on Wi-Fi. Talk time is rated at 21 hours.

As always, stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Via AppleInsider

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