As every year, Apple has drummed up a ton of attention with the launch of its new iPhones, however, there’s one product that seems to have completely fallen off the radar. Yes, we are talking about AirPower, Apple’s wireless charging mat.
Apple embraced the Qi wireless charging standard with last year’s iPhone lineup and went all in on it with the AirPower at last year’s iPhone event. AirPower promised a way for users to charge multiple Apple devices wirelessly, including the iPhone, Apple Watch, and even the AirPods.
Naturally, the new charging mat attracted a lot of eyeballs, because it was so simple and effortless to use for a wide range of products. Last year, we were told AirPower would launch sometime in 2018.
Now that we are close to the end of the year and another iPhone launch event has gone by, AirPower hasn’t yet seen the light of day. We’ve got three new iPhones – the iPhone Xs, Xs Max, and iPhone XR – and the Apple Watch Series 4. But no AirPower to charge them.
Why is AirPower Delayed?
The AirPower didn’t even get a mention at yesterday’s iPhone launch event, which isn’t surprising when you consider that Apple has kept mum about it for a whole year, not giving us any updates on its development. There were reports recently of Apple hitting technical snags that are holding up the launch.
It would seem that Apple is struggling with optimizing the Qi standard for its own hardware and software. The overheating issues when charging multiple devices simultaneously could also be a major concern. Apple has also removed mentions of the AirPower from its website, except for a couple of places in the Airpods product page and its trademark listings.
The iPhone Xs, Xs Max and iPhone XR support faster wireless charging than its predecessor, but Apple didn’t even mention that on stage, as that might have invited questions on the AirPower, which Apple may not be ready to answer.
AirPods 2 Launch Hampered
The delay in AirPower could also have a direct impact on the other product lines, possibly known as the AirPods 2.
As you can see in the AirPower promotional image above, Airpods can also be charged using the mat. Apple’s upcoming Airpods case will support Qi wireless charging. However, even that isn’t official yet, because after all even the most die-hard Apple fan might not want to buy 3 wireless charging pads.
Apple did tease the new Airpods with the ‘Hey Siri’ voice activation during its Mission Impossible-style opener for the Gather Round event yesterday. The actor in the video didn’t even the earbud before asking Siri for directions, confirming that hands-free Siri functionality is coming soon in the new Airpods.
But what about Airpower? Apple has still has a couple of months before 2018 ends to release the long-delayed device. The company supposedly has another hardware showcase planned before the end of the year, where it could announce the launch date for the AirPower along with new MacBooks and iPads. But like with most things about the Airpower, that’s also in the realm of speculation.