Nearly all mention of AirPower wiped from Apple's website, suggests further delays or aban...

Posted:
in General Discussion edited September 12
AirPower, Apple's advanced wireless charging mat that was teased at last year's iPhone event, was noticeably absent from Wednesday's "Gather Round" announcements, and mention of the device has been scrubbed from the company's website.




Unveiled exactly one year ago alongside iPhone X and iPhone 8, Apple's first handsets capable of charging wirelessly, AirPower promised to be an all-in-one power delivery solution for the company's portable device lineup.

As Apple said in 2017, AirPower can juice up three devices simultaneously. Using proprietary inductive charging technology, the ovaloid mat is able to charge iPhone, Apple Watch and a wireless AirPods case (also a no-show at today's event) at the same time. During an onstage presentation, SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller said the device has the potential to change the wireless charging paradigm.

It appears that paradigm is giving Apple a bit of trouble.

Following the "Gather Round" event, Apple removed nearly every mention of AirPower from its website, including glory shots that teased the device for a year. The device makes a single appearance on a page dedicated to AirPods, where it is shown powering up the aforementioned unreleased AirPods wireless charging case and an iPhone X.

At its unveiling, Apple said AirPower would hit store shelves in 2018. Subsequent rumors pointed to a March launch date, but that timeline came and went. A report in June claimed Apple intended to begin sales in June, but ran into problems with overheating, forcing a delay to September.

Apple still has a couple weeks to make the rumored deadline, but the company's decision to strip product images and text regarding the product from its website does not bode well for the hotly anticipated accessory.

According to ZDNet, sources familiar with the matter said AirPower was too ambitious a project, even for Apple.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 37
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,440member
    And before anyone blathers that this product should have been easy-peasy to build please post your electrical engineering credentials before doing so. Meanwhile this gives me the go-ahead to buy wireless chargers for our iPhone 8's. I was waiting for AirPower.
    edited September 12 StrangeDayschiaSolilolliverJinTechrepressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 37
    Damn, this is disappointing. Ah well, hope they figure it out some day.
    patchythepiratemavemufclolliverrepressthiscaladanianwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 37
    I still don’t quite understand the allure of wireless charging. My wife has a wireless charger and I can’t tell you how many times her iPhone X doesn’t charge at night because it’s not on the charger just right. You can’t charge and use it at the same time and it’s slow.

    Apple probably identified these issues too and found that the tech isn’t worth it. I think a better idea would be to make a mat that could hold a few devices (AirPods, Apple Watch, iPhone) and use magnets to align those devices in place on the mat and then use standard wireless charging. That would make aligning the chargers easier and also give the use a nice empty space in their life for another Apple product ;)
    command_faylk
  • Reply 4 of 37
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,235member
    So ... vaporware? That's an unfortunate miss for Apple ...
    gatorguyking editor the grate
  • Reply 5 of 37
    Not really sure how they can announce something, then suddenly find they can’t do it. 

    Would love to know what happened here. 
    StrangeDayslollivermuthuk_vanalingamcaladanianaylkwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 37
    jkichline said:
    I still don’t quite understand the allure of wireless charging. My wife has a wireless charger and I can’t tell you how many times her iPhone X doesn’t charge at night because it’s not on the charger just right. You can’t charge and use it at the same time and it’s slow.

    Apple probably identified these issues too and found that the tech isn’t worth it. I think a better idea would be to make a mat that could hold a few devices (AirPods, Apple Watch, iPhone) and use magnets to align those devices in place on the mat and then use standard wireless charging. That would make aligning the chargers easier and also give the use a nice empty space in their life for another Apple product ;)
    - It would make products more elegant (e.g Apple Pen without lighting connector, phone without lighting port)
    - One cable in the outlet; multiple devices charging. Aesthetics.
    - Ease of use. Put the device on the pad versus trying to find a connector in the dark.
    - Cables break down quickly by connecting/disconnecting every day.
    christopher126lolliverrepressthiscaladanian
  • Reply 7 of 37
    rwesrwes Posts: 155member
    lkrupp said:
    And before anyone blathers that this product should have been easy-peasy to build please post your electrical engineering credentials before doing so. Meanwhile this gives me the go-ahead to buy wireless chargers for our iPhone 8's. I was waiting for AirPower.
    Marketing team writing a check that engineering team couldn’t cash?

    I’ll be happy enough with a Series 4 watch but was hoping for a revised smaller iPhone; maybe March!
    aylk
  • Reply 8 of 37
    claire1claire1 Posts: 478unconfirmed, member
    Doubt it's abandoned. Probably a better version coming. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 37
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,315member
    Vaporware from Apple is highly unusual. Got to be a backstory to this one
    welshdogmuthuk_vanalingamrepressthisaylk
  • Reply 10 of 37
    Can anyone say vaporware?
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 11 of 37
    Once you've tried wireless charging, where you just lay the device down, you won't ever want to go back to fiddling around inserting multiple devices with cables. 

    It would be like going back to the 30 pin connector... 

    :)
    king editor the gratelolliverrepressthissingularity
  • Reply 12 of 37
    And sometimes there's a lot to be said for a cable. I still don't get the allure of having a pad so you can't just lie the device on edge wherever convenient and which still takes a power point. Perhaps someone at Apple agrees?
  • Reply 13 of 37
    My guess: others can do this for them, like displays and airports. Simply outsource/ partner for it.
  • Reply 14 of 37
    I think they are realizing it was overpriced relative to the options the market currently offers (Apple brand and quality notwithstanding). 
    WhiskeyAPPLEcider
  • Reply 15 of 37
    Hm. 
    eightzero
  • Reply 16 of 37
    Rayz2016 said:
    Not really sure how they can announce something, then suddenly find they can’t do it. 

    Would love to know what happened here. 
    It worked in prototype and early production but scaling up manufacturing proved not to work- either the defect rate was too high (and that is easy to miss if you’re hand assembling just a few during development) or costs were too high or both.

    its not that hard.  Most companies just sell the lower quality product anyway.
    WhiskeyAPPLEcider
  • Reply 17 of 37
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,367member
    gatorguy said:
    Vaporware from Apple is highly unusual. Got to be a backstory to this one
    1) Unlikely, but it still happens. We typically see it more with delays with physical products and removals of features/apps like we say with Group FaceTime for Mojave and iOS 12 in the last few months.

    2) As I say, I consider all announced but unreleased products as they could still be pulled before launch. That includes everything announced today even though I think one would be a fool to be against Apple with a pre-order date in 2 days and delivery date in 9 days.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 37
    Starting to think they couldn't figure this one out. Never smart to pre-announce something unproven. They need to hold their tongues next time until they have tested and working prototypes in hand.
    edited September 12
  • Reply 19 of 37
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,367member
    Starting to think they couldn't figure this one out. Never smart to pre-announce something unproven. They need to hold their tongues next time until they have tested and working prototypes in hand.
    It's always a question when they give something so much lead time. I figure that eventually they'll have it but I'm glad that they've removed its mention since I know a lot of people who have been holding off on any inductive charging for their inductive charging-capable iPhones because they were waiting for AirPower even though they didn't have 3 devices in which to use with it.

    AirPods can't be used without a new inductive charging case and if you have an attached metal band for your higher-priced Apple Watch it won't work for it, as far as I know.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 37
    I heard on twitter that there was a problem with the pad overheating due to too many active coils (multiple coils, of course, is probably the only way to have effective, distributed charging ability).

    I figured Apple would’ve worked out a sensor system with selective coil activation, if only for the efficiency aspect, but I suppose that’s not an easy task.

    That’s too bad, I was really looking forward to it. But oh well, the series 4 and Xs/r were amazing today. 
    edited September 12 SpamSandwichwatto_cobra
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