Apple’s AirPower wireless charging mat is one of the biggest mysteries in the tech world right now, with many wondering whether the product will ever come to light. Everyone expected the company to address the delay at its 2018 iPhone event, but the occasion has come and gone without a word on the device.
To recall, the AirPower was originally announced at last year’s iPhone event. The mat is capable of charging an iPhone, an Apple Watch, and a pair of AirPods inside their charging case at the same time. It was supposed to arrive at some point in 2018. With only a couple of months left for the year to end, things don’t look great for the product.
Apple’s AirPower Failure
Tipster Sonny Dickson thinks the AirPower is doomed to failure unless significant advances are made. Multiple internal sources told him that it generates far too much heat. This results in performance setbacks and makes the devices too warm to charge. Even Apple’s custom charging chip is affecting by the temperature.
Apple engineers say there are both hardware and software issues impacting the AirPower. The mat is facing communication difficulties, especially between the Apple Watch/AirPods and the iPhone. The smartphone has a neat animation which tells the owner what the charge level of each device is, but it’s proving difficult to implement.
Then there are mechanical and interference problems. The appeal of the AirPower is that there are no designated charging areas for each device, so a person can just drop them anywhere. Apple is apparently using a complicated system of between 21 to 24 power coils of 3 unique sizes to make this possible.
These 3 different sizes are proving to be the biggest headache because they must overlap within each coil set. The AirPower’s small and compact nature is making it tough to reduce interference and heat. It seems the only way around this is to redo the mat so that it’s thicker and larger.
Apple is known for its sleek and thin designs, so it’s no wonder that it’s reportedly rejected this solution. It has very few options left now. Either it cancels the mat, delays it for even longer, or completely redesigns it from the ground up. Some say it could even take the AirPower trademark and apply it to a completely different product.
This mysterious new offering will supposedly include unmentioned features and be publicly shown off at an event not likely before Spring. It’s possible Apple will pull off a surprise and launch the AirPower as promised, but that’s looking less and less probable as the days go by.