Palm Pre Touchstone dock

Palm Pre Touchstone dock

It’s beginning to look more and more like the iPhone 5 will indeed just be a minor update, or an iPhone 4S as some have taken to calling it.

According to a recent report from The Wall Street Journal, the iPhone 5 will be thinner and lighter than the iPhone 4, and sport an 8 megapixel camera along with a new dual-core chip from Apple.  These rumors have been reported so many times now that they have almost passed into the realm of fact without the company yet issuing an official statement.  What was new in the report, however, was a hint that a major revamp is coming next year in the iPhone 6.

Those infamous “people briefed on the matter” told the prestigious financial newspaper that a major overhaul is expected for the iPhone next year, and that Apple is experimenting with a new charging method.  Considering that the company is already doing away with the infamous white 30-pin cable for synching your phone to your computer when iOS 5 comes out this fall, removing the cable from the mix altogether is not such an off-the-wall-idea, the only question would be how they could do it.

I included a picture of the Palm Pre Touchstone dock in this story because it was the first concept that jumped to my mind.  Of course I don’t expect that to be Apple’s solution to this technological hurdle as that is locked down with patents, but it certainly shows that the cable can be eliminated from the charging equation.  The question becomes how would you charge the phone easily, and about the only concept I can come up with is over-the-air charging.  This is a concept that has been played around with by several engineers, and there has been some success, but is it ready enough for “prime time?”  Since this is Apple we’re talking about, it is of course possible that they are going with something they have come up with entirely on their own, and in that case we have no hope of guessing what it is we will see when then iPhone 6 gets introduced.

Seeing as Apple CEO Steve Jobs has done everything in his power to eliminate buttons, cables and seams from his company’s devices, eliminating the cable is just not a shock to me.  My biggest question, however, is how will one charge the phone in their car?  Anyone that has ever traveled in a car with me knows that my center console becomes a labyrinth of charging cables as I juice up my arsenal of devices I carry with me.   The longer the road trip, the more essential charging becomes, and this can’t be a concept that is lost on Apple’s engineers.  Whatever it is their planning has to not only be efficient, but  also portable.  The mind boggles at what they might be dreaming up if this rumor proves to be true.

How do you think you might charge the iPhone 6?

[via The Wall Street Journal]