Apple has pulled the plug on its AirPower wireless charging mat, because it could not reach its own standards. And no, it’s not an April Fool.
The AirPower had been suspiciously absent since its unveiling alongside the iPhone X back in 2017. It was expected to launch alongside last year’s iPhones in September, and when that didn’t happen, with the firm’s recent iPads and AirPods wireless headphones.
Now Apple has confirmed it will never launch.
“After much effort, we’ve concluded AirPower will not achieve our high standards and we have cancelled the project,” said Dan Riccio, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware engineering. “We apologise to those customers who were looking forward to this launch.”
However, Riccio went on to hint that a similar device could launch at some point in the future. “We continue to believe that the future is wireless,” he added, “and are committed to push the wireless experience forward.” So maybe all hope is not lost.
The issue is thought to be with AirPower overheating because of its closely-situated array of 3D charging coils, but Apple hasn’t said exactly what the problem is.
AirPower was to be more advanced than rival wireless charging mats. It would let you place a product anywhere on the mat and have it juice up.
The product was so close to launch that some boxes of AirPod cases featured an image of the AirPower. The device was designed to charge up an Apple Watch, AirPods and an iPhone at the same time.
It seems Apple announced AirPower too early. It has done this with products before, knowing it still has problems to solve. The iPhone 7 Plus – the firm’s first phone with a twin-lens camera – wasn’t fully functional when announced, and Apple actually had a fallback version with a single lens system. But it took the plunge, announced the dual-lens version, and managed to make it work in time.
Sadly AirPower was a step too far for the company.