Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is now a member of the Wireless Power Consortium. Because of this, it is being speculated that Xiaomi’s next flagship smartphone might feature wireless charging.

Xiaomi hasn’t made an official announcement yet, but the company is currently listed as a member on the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) website, as first spotted by GSM Arena. For the uninitiated, the WPC was first formed back in 2008 with the goal of promoting the adoption of the Qi wireless charging standard.

The Qi standard became mainstream in 2012 when Google and Nokia launched phones with this type of inductive charging technology, as pointed out by Android Authority. Other smartphone makers that have adopted the Qi wireless charging standard include Samsung, LG, HTC, Huawei, Motorola, BlackBerry and Sony.

Apple is the most recent company to adopt this wireless charging technology for the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X, and it joined the WPC in February. Apple’s decision to use an open interface standard instead of a proprietary solution is seen as a big push in further promoting the Qi wireless charging technology. With Xiaomi being part of the WPC, it now looks like consumers will be getting more smartphones with the wireless charging feature.

It’s very likely that Xiaomi is now preparing to launch a new smartphone with Qi wireless charging. The Chinese phone maker hasn’t announced anything yet, but it’s already being speculated to be the Xiaomi Mi 7, which is expected to be Xiaomi’s next flagship smartphone.

The most recent rumors claim that the Mi 7 might be announced by Xiaomi during the first quarter of 2018, possibly February. If this turns out to be true, the Mi 7 would be arriving much earlier than its predecessor. The Xiaomi Mi 6 flagship arrived this past April, as pointed out The Android Soul.

The Mi 7 might also be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor with 6GB or 8GB of RAM. The Snapdragon 845 is said to be the successor to the Snapdragon 835, the current processor of choice for 2017 Android flagship smartphones. The Mi 7 is also believed to have a 6-inch OLED display that will be supplied by Samsung, according to PocketNow. This also makes the Mi 7 Xiaomi’s first smartphone under the Mi series to feature that display size.

If the Mi 7 will indeed arrive next year with Qi wireless charging, it’s likely that it may a have glass back rather than metal. Apple had to outfit the iPhone 8 and iPhone X with glass chassis in order for the induction charging feature to work on the Qi standard. This might make the Mi 7 a bit more fragile, but it seems to be a necessary design change to accommodate the feature.

In 2015, Qualcomm introduced its wireless charging solution called WiPower. Qualcomm claims that its technology will allow wireless charging for phones that have an all-metal design. The problem with WiPower is that it’s not being widely adopted by OEMs since majority of them are already using the Qi standard.

Xiaomi The Xiaomi Mi 7 might be the first Xiaomi smartphone to feature wireless charging. Photo: REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon