Apple AirPower Qi charging mat headed for September landing

Posted:
in iPhone edited June 21
After six months of internal testing and refinement, Apple appears to be ready to launch the AirPower charging pad alongside the 2018 lineup of iPhones.

AirPower charging mat


"Technical hurdles" are reportedly the main reason why the AirPower Qi charging mat hasn't been released yet. According to sources familiar with the matter cited by Bloomberg on Thursday morning, Apple engineers are also dealing with bugs in firmware further holding up the process.

Apple unveiled the AirPower alongside the iPhone 8 and iPhone X in the tail-end of 2017. Designed by Apple, the all white, oval mat can charge an iPhone, the Apple Watch, and a new wireless-compatible AirPods case at the same time.

AppleInsider got a chance to use one at the iPhone launch event.

When announced, Apple Senior Vice President Phil Schiller claimed that the device has the potential to change the wireless charging paradigm, one set in large part by handsets running Google's Android operating system. And, at the time, the only release date was "next year," meaning 2018.

Bloomberg claims that Apple was shooting for a June unveil, but employee testing found overheating problems, forcing a later launch.

But, the AirPower isn't as simple as three basic charging locations as seen in inexpensive accessories.

How Qi works, and why the AirPower is proving difficult to perfect

The Qi standard relies on induction between two coils to deliver power to a device that needs charging. The base station contains a transmitting coil that generates a oscillating magnetic field, which induces an alternating current in the receiving field.

The coils are aligned with each other in either guided positioning relying on the user to place a device in a specific position and alignment, or hardware can be built allowing for free positioning.

Free positioning is generally used in most charging plates, with relatively minor adjustments made by magnetic positioning or other mechanical apparatuses. But, it doesn't appear that Apple is using the most basic execution of the technology.

Qi also allows for free positioning to be implemented by inducing a magnetic field just at the location of the receiving coil with multiple cooperative flux generators. Devices put anywhere on the plate communicate their location on the pad, and the field is only induced under the device by the flux generators operating in tandem.

Apple appears to be using this method for a trio of devices that can be placed in any order, on any location on the pad.
albegarcpatchythepirate
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 68
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,347member
    A year from WWDC17 deliver Stereo for HomePod from when it was announced.
    Now a year to deliver AirPower after they were announced.    I hope they prioritize new Computers over AirPower because other than the MacPro (which won't show up till 2019) they haven't announced any new Computers.   Cook says the Mini is an important part of Apple, why doesn't someone ask if there will be another Mac Mini.
    edited June 21 albegarcavon b7elijahg[Deleted User]mike54aegeanh2p
  • Reply 2 of 68
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 2,859member
    How can something that looks so simple be so damn complicated?

    But, once again, Apple shines:   They "should have" released this 9 months ago with iPhone 8 & X.   But, they tested it and refused to ship something that wasn't yet right.

    It's Apple continuing to focus not on product but on how that product impacts the consumer...  They don't release something just to release "the next product".  If it doesn't make things better, they don't release it.
    Cesar Battistini Mazierotjwolfalbegarcchiasmiffy31LukeCagewatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 68
    asciiascii Posts: 5,833member
    Pretty cool tech. I would like to see Apple release a solar panel charger at some point.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 68
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,576member
    How can something that looks so simple be so damn complicated?

    But, once again, Apple shines:   They "should have" released this 9 months ago with iPhone 8 & X.   But, they tested it and refused to ship something that wasn't yet right.

    It's Apple continuing to focus not on product but on how that product impacts the consumer...  They don't release something just to release "the next product".  If it doesn't make things better, they don't release it.
    Everything looks simple on paper...especially to an armchair engineer. 
    Solichiamike1StrangeDaysracerhomie3watto_cobrapscooter63
  • Reply 5 of 68
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,576member

    k2kw said:
    A year from WWDC17 deliver Stereo for HomePod from when it was announced.
    Now a year to deliver AirPower after they were announced.    I hope they prioritize new Computers over AirPower because other than the MacPro (which won't show up till 2019) they haven't announced any new Computers.   Cook says the Mini is an important part of Apple, why doesn't someone ask if there will be another Mac Mini.

    Because the only 2 people that really care about a new Mac mini are you and Wizard? 
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 68
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,381member
    We now see, in spades, the eight ball Apple now lives behind. Over the years there has been increasing pressure on Apple to pre-announce products from both analysts and users. When is the next <insert product category> coming out? So-and-so competitor has already announced its next big thing, Why can’t Apple? It’s been a year since product B was announced. Where is it? It can’t be that complicated because Chinese knockoffs are already on the market. Bad Apple! Apple was under such tremendous pressure to respond to the “pro” community about the coming next generation Mac Pro that they caved and made an announcement. Fast forward and now we are treated to the cat calling and caterwauling of “WHERE IS IT?” The traditional Mac crowd, who couldn’t care less about the iPhone, iPad, iTunes, Apple Music, etc., continues to beat the drum over new Macs. Apple has for the most part decided to keep mum about the subject and what happens? This quiet is  interpreted to mean there will be no new Macs and the wails of the damned can be heard across spacetime. 

    Pre-announce? Stay quiet? Either way Apple loses on forums like this one.
    StrangeDayscanukstormracerhomie3smiffy31LukeCagejony0watto_cobrah2p
  • Reply 7 of 68
    nunzynunzy Posts: 662member
    This will change the wireless charging paradigm!

    Apple is never the first, but when they finally released the product, it is always the best. This will be nothing like those crappy wireless chargers that Android people have tried to use in the past.
  • Reply 8 of 68
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 2,692member
    nunzy said:
    This will change the wireless charging paradigm!

    Apple is never the first, but when they finally released the product, it is always the best. This will be nothing like those crappy wireless chargers that Android people have tried to use in the past.
    "Crappy"? Why?

    Are you implying they were bad or didn't work even though Apple is basing it's solution off the same standard?

    Apple users would have lapped up that 'crappy' tech if they had been able to. The problem was that iPhones didn't have any, and in that situation, 'crappy' is better than none but even without this Apple solution, users of new iPhones are still using that crappy tech on iPhones! It isn't limited to Android users.
    elijahggatorguynunzy
  • Reply 9 of 68
    BrettBBrettB Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    What I want to know is will it charge "any" three devices at once? We always hear an iPhone, Watch, and AirPods at once. Can it charge two iPhones at once?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 68
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,216member
    Why does a charging mat need to run a custom version of iOS? This thing is going to be very expensive.
    elijahgaylk
  • Reply 11 of 68
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,216member
    How can something that looks so simple be so damn complicated?

    But, once again, Apple shines:   They "should have" released this 9 months ago with iPhone 8 & X.   But, they tested it and refused to ship something that wasn't yet right.

    It's Apple continuing to focus not on product but on how that product impacts the consumer...  They don't release something just to release "the next product".  If it doesn't make things better, they don't release it.
    Why did they announce it if wasn’t even close to being ready to ship? I can understand announcing something that is delayed maybe a month or two but this will be a whole year! It’s the white iPhone all over again. 
    elijahgpatchythepirate
  • Reply 12 of 68
    asciiascii Posts: 5,833member
    lkrupp said:
    Pre-announce? Stay quiet? Either way Apple loses on forums like this one.
    What about the third alternative? Keep up. Then you don't face the decision of pre-announcing or staying quiet in the first place.
    avon b7elijahg
  • Reply 13 of 68
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,216member

    macxpress said:

    k2kw said:
    A year from WWDC17 deliver Stereo for HomePod from when it was announced.
    Now a year to deliver AirPower after they were announced.    I hope they prioritize new Computers over AirPower because other than the MacPro (which won't show up till 2019) they haven't announced any new Computers.   Cook says the Mini is an important part of Apple, why doesn't someone ask if there will be another Mac Mini.

    Because the only 2 people that really care about a new Mac mini are you and Wizard? 
    If nobody cares about the Mac mini then why doesn’t Apple discontinue it?
    avon b7elijahg
  • Reply 14 of 68
    gutengelgutengel Posts: 130member
    Where are my space great AirPods2?! AirPower looks great, but it's probably gonna be $$$$
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 68
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,298administrator
    BrettB said:
    What I want to know is will it charge "any" three devices at once? We always hear an iPhone, Watch, and AirPods at once. Can it charge two iPhones at once?
    Remains to be seen. In theory, but we'll see what Apple does with it. We do know that you can put any of the three devices in any order on the pad, and in about any location.
    edited June 21 watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 68
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 5,578member
    Why does a charging mat need to run a custom version of iOS? This thing is going to be very expensive.
    Get an engineering degree, go work for Apple in new product development, then find out. 

    Seriously, what sort of armchair expert doubts this stuff while having absolutely no relevant skill base?
    GG1lkruppLukeCagejony0fastasleepwatto_cobrapscooter63
  • Reply 17 of 68
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 5,578member

    How can something that looks so simple be so damn complicated?

    But, once again, Apple shines:   They "should have" released this 9 months ago with iPhone 8 & X.   But, they tested it and refused to ship something that wasn't yet right.

    It's Apple continuing to focus not on product but on how that product impacts the consumer...  They don't release something just to release "the next product".  If it doesn't make things better, they don't release it.
    Why did they announce it if wasn’t even close to being ready to ship? I can understand announcing something that is delayed maybe a month or two but this will be a whole year! It’s the white iPhone all over again. 
    Not really. All they said was 2018. If it’s Sept rather than June that’s a few months, big deal. 

    The white iphone was quite late compared to the black’s release date. 
    fastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 68
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 5,578member

    ascii said:
    lkrupp said:
    Pre-announce? Stay quiet? Either way Apple loses on forums like this one.
    What about the third alternative? Keep up. Then you don't face the decision of pre-announcing or staying quiet in the first place.
    Keep up to what, exactly? A new product takes as long as it takes. Or to quote Id Software, “It’ll be ready when it’s ready”. So the question is only whether to pre-announce it, or wait until it’s finished. In either case the techie pundits will whine, as lkrupp explained. 
    edited June 21 watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 68
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,257member

    How can something that looks so simple be so damn complicated?

    But, once again, Apple shines:   They "should have" released this 9 months ago with iPhone 8 & X.   But, they tested it and refused to ship something that wasn't yet right.

    It's Apple continuing to focus not on product but on how that product impacts the consumer...  They don't release something just to release "the next product".  If it doesn't make things better, they don't release it.
    Why did they announce it if wasn’t even close to being ready to ship? I can understand announcing something that is delayed maybe a month or two but this will be a whole year! It’s the white iPhone all over again. 
    Not really. All they said was 2018. If it’s Sept rather than June that’s a few months, big deal. 

    The white iphone was quite late compared to the black’s release date. 
    At the time AirPower was originally announced their PR marketing materials actually stated "early 2018". Not terribly important of course as missed goals are not that unusual no matter the industry. When it's ready Apple will ship it. 
    edited June 21 elijahgpatchythepirate
  • Reply 20 of 68
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 1,543member
    Why does a charging mat need to run a custom version of iOS? This thing is going to be very expensive.
    From the article:

    "The AirPower charger is also more advanced than the current competition because it includes a custom Apple chip running a stripped down version of the iOS mobile operating system to conduct on-device power management and pairing with devices."
    jony0fastasleepwatto_cobrah2p
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