Apple has announced the cancellation of the much-awaited AirPower wireless charging mat. The company says that the reason for cancellation is because AirPower did not meet their high standards. Announced originally in September 2017, during the iPhone X launch event, AirPower was expected to push the Qi standard forward by supporting fast charging for multiple devices at the same time.
Dan Riccio, Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Engineering, told TechCrunch:
“After much effort, we’ve concluded AirPower will not achieve our high standards and we have cancelled the project. We apologize to those customers who were looking forward to this launch. We continue to believe that the future is wireless and are committed to push the wireless experience forward,”
Unfortunately, despite all the wait, AirPower has been a major disappointment. Apple is not known for vaporware and doesn’t usually announce products before they are ready. Since they had announced this product during an iPhone lunch event, which is one of the biggest tech events of the year, all eyes were on them.
Apple never publicly revealed any reason for the delay. It was expected that despite delays and the company’s silence, Apple would still meet their expected delivery timeline in 2018. When 2019 started, all reports and rumors suggested that Apple will release AirPods with wireless charging case and AirPower at the same time, because it just made sense. Also, because Apple had actually printed out AirPower pictures on AirPods packaging.
— ᴺᴼᵀ Jony Ive (@JonyIveParody) March 29, 2019
As we all know, Apple only released AirPods with wireless charging case and not AirPower.
John Gruber really raised expectations by tweeting this on Friday:
AirPower feels like the sort of thing Apple would release on a Friday afternoon.
— John Gruber (@gruber) March 29, 2019
Apple announced cancellation on the same day.
It is not as if AirPower never existed. Some photos have been posted by Mark Gurman on Twitter and even Jon Gruber that he was shown a working prototype in September 2017. But working prototypes and release products are entirely different stories.
When it announced the AirPower in 2017, Apple said the charging technology “was not possible with current standards,” but that Apple “knows how to do this.” 18 months later, it is cancelled in a unprecedented move. Our latest (plus 2 photos I took of it): https://t.co/sKgjos7M1J pic.twitter.com/sI0GgbN0oQ
— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) March 29, 2019
iFixit has speculated that AirPower’s multi-coil design could not comply with FCC’s rules for safe wireless emissions. Instead of the usual 3-coil design in other wireless chargers, Apple was planning to include 32 coils in AirPower.
For now, we can watch the old launch event video and wonder what could have been.
Note that Apple had announced that they will be working with the Qi standards team to incorporate AirPower’s features into the standard. I guess we can safely assume that it did not happen.
Apple had announced that they will be working with the Qi standards team to incorporate AirPower’s features into the standard.
I wonder if they did any of that.
— Imran Hussain (@imhassan) March 30, 2019
AirPower is dead. Long Live AirPower.