Apple has started working on the AirPower project again internally. The rumour hails from YouTuber @jon_prosser. Based on the story, Apple engineers are trying to re-engineer the coils to displace heat more effectively, and the charger is still under the proto-typing process.
There is no assurance that Apple will solve the AirPower’s heat issues and release it to the public, though. The company had previously announced the AirPower alongside the iPhone X in 2017. It was first supposed to launch in early 2018, but Apple then completely went silent on it and ultimately cancelled it in March 2019. for reports, Apple tried overcome heating issues from AirPower and the interference which was being caused by so many charging coils being placed close to each other in a confined space.
We had our suspicions that Apple was working on its ill-fated charging mat again thanks to the discovery of a similar-looking patent back in January. This design, as well as charging your compatible devices, had a “device priority” system that would charge the items you placed on it in the order they were placed.
AirPower was originally announced in September 2017, alongside the wirelessly charging iPhone 8 and iPhone X. The charger was meant to support an iPhone, Apple Watch and an AirPods charging case all at the same time while also complying with the Qi charging standard, meaning it could be used with many other compatible products too.
Apple announced its cancellation in March 2019, after deciding that it wasn’t able to get the product up to its exacting standards. The reasons given were that the charging pad produced excess heat (a common problem for wireless chargers) and that there was some communication interference between the devices when there were multiple items on the charger. Clearly, it would do Apple little good to produce a charging mat that causes devices to overheat. Perhaps even to the extent of the damage. So, it has suspended the project. If you know more details about this, feel free to reach out, I’m evoked.
There have been other platforms where Apple has pushed the hardware envelope hard and tried to pull it off and deliver them, the iPhone 7+, its first with a twin-lens system, being one in mind. Apple had an unaccomplished plan in a single-lens version but at some stage had to commit and step off a ledge to have it done in time to deliver, though knowing they still had issues to solve. Apple has done this several times over the years but has managed to deliver many of the goods.
AirPower nevertheless, was the other kind of case. The project was apparently terminated so recently that containers of the new AirPod cases even have pictures of AirPower drew on them, and the new AirPod sets have Airpower reference.
This is a very rare public misstep for Apple. Never, throughout the discussion on when AirPower might be out, did the overall news of the conversation lean toward “never.” That is a testament to the ability of its hardware engineering teams to consistently execute features that seemed to be nearly impossible in the past. In this case, it seems that the engineering issues have proven, at least at this point, overcome.
The honest of the matter is that hardware is well, hard. The key concepts of wireless charging powers are well known and also produced, but by promising the ability to place multiple appliances anywhere on a pad, allowing them to charge at the same time while communicating charge levels and rates, Apple set its bar incredibly high for AirPower. Too high, in this case.
What AirPower is all about?
AirPower was an Apple-designed charging mat produced to charge Qi-based iPhones, the Apple Watch, and the AirPods, making use of a specially designed AirPods Wireless Charging Case, which was duly introduced in March 2019 by Apple.
Dire’s report further suggested that the AirPower was condemned to fail if engineers could not solve the issues that are plaguing the device, but when the iPhone XS and XS Max released later in September, we observed AirPower documentation, suggesting work on the device was yet underway.
We heard In October that the AirPower was to be available in late 2018 or early 2019, after Apple’s October 30th event had gone with no AirPower mention, it became clear Apple wasn’t going to make its 2018 deadline.
Apple was still naming the AirPower in job listings. In December, then, in early January, refreshed news hinted that mass production would start soon. AirPower was also named in the product description for the currently released Smart Battery Case in most countries, and in January 2019, DigiTimes said it was still coming “later in 2019.”