Apple is still developing a 'less ambitious' wireless charging mat

Posted:
in General Discussion edited October 2020
Apple is reportedly developing a "less ambitious" wireless charging device for the iPhone more than a year after the demise of AirPower.

Credit: Apple
Credit: Apple


AirPower, first unveiled in 2017, was a wireless charging pad whose primary feature was the ability to simultaneously power iPhones, AirPods and Apple Watches. Apple scrapped the project in 2019, reportedly due to issues with overheating and reliability.

In a report detailing a new wireless charging startup named Aira, Bloomberg makes a passing mention about an upcoming Apple-branded wireless charging mat.

"More than a year after AirPower's demise, Apple is developing a less ambitious wireless charger for the iPhone," the report reads.

This isn't the first time we've heard of Apple making another foray into wireless charging. Well-connected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in January forecast that Apple would debut a "small wireless charging mat" sometime in 2020.

There have also been reports that Apple engineers are prototyping a "new" version of AirPower.

Though details are scarce, it's likely that a future Apple-branded charger wouldn't sport the same overlapping coil design that would allow for multi-device, simultaneous charging.

In lieu of an Apple solution, other manufacturers have been attempting to fill the gap. Recently, Nomad debuted its Base Station Pro charger that features free-placement charging and support for powering up multiple devices.

And Aira, the startup mentioned in the Bloomberg report, is developing a technology dubbed "FreePower" that uses thin coils printed on a circuit board instead of traditional wire-wound coils. The result, Aira says, is a technology that wouldn't require specific placement of devices -- but also can't charge an Apple Watch.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    That has to still be one of their worst prepared product announcements. Never announce something unless it’s done or the bugs have been completely worked out.
    Alex1Nlkruppllama
  • Reply 2 of 14
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,738member
    The result, Aira says, is a technology that wouldn't require specific placement of devices -- but also can't charge an Apple Watch.

    Maybe they can ship it with a "puck" that converts the Qi charge method into something that works with the Watch.
    Alex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 14
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,525member
    That has to still be one of their worst prepared product announcements. Never announce something unless it’s done or the bugs have been completely worked out.

    And morons will claim Apple "copied" the wrath of knockoffs that followed it's reveal.
  • Reply 4 of 14
    I don’t like „less ambitious“ at all. Just hope they find a smart solution which provides the same benefits.
  • Reply 5 of 14
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    Ah.

    Bloomberg. 
    lkruppStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 14
    Apple can still do place anywhere wireless charging.  I believe they could have done that around the time of the AirPower announcement.  What I think they couldn't -and probably still can't- do reliably is Qi and Apple Watch proprietary charging together on the same surface.  No big loss imo.  I think they should include a puck/stand for the AW along with the place anywhere mat and call it a day.
    llama
  • Reply 7 of 14
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,525member
    Apple can still do place anywhere wireless charging.  I believe they could have done that around the time of the AirPower announcement.  What I think they couldn't -and probably still can't- do reliably is Qi and Apple Watch proprietary charging together on the same surface.  No big loss imo.  I think they should include a puck/stand for the AW along with the place anywhere mat and call it a day.

    That seems to be the rumor. Plus with Apple being under a microscope at all times they need it to run cool. There were rumors that it would be equipped with a powerful A-chip to manage heat.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 14
    That has to still be one of their worst prepared product announcements. Never announce something unless it’s done or the bugs have been completely worked out.
    I guess you forgot about the 3GHz Power Mac G5.  That one too.  
    razorpitwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 14
    I don't know why people desire wireless charging.  It is still plugged in.  Apple cripples the wireless feature to 7.5w.  I can charge my iPhone much faster using my iPad's 18w charger.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 14
    kimberlykimberly Posts: 375member
    Like a few AI readers, I just wish Apple would re-focus their wireless aspirations to a resurrected AirPort line (mesh).
    Japheywatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 14
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    That has to still be one of their worst prepared product announcements. Never announce something unless it’s done or the bugs have been completely worked out.
    I guess you forgot about the 3GHz Power Mac G5.  That one too.  
    Hey, I like your screen name. 840AV was right up there among my favorite Macs I’ve owned.
    JBSloughwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 14
    Beats said:
    That has to still be one of their worst prepared product announcements. Never announce something unless it’s done or the bugs have been completely worked out.

    And morons will claim Apple "copied" the wrath of knockoffs that followed it's reveal.
    Can't copy something that never released. Whatever happened to cancel Airpower, Apple was the one that announced they were working on it. Apple had the chance to be first with it but they couldn't figure out out to solve their issues. Other companies have had, is it three years now, to create something that Airpower promised. If Apple wanted to be first in this market then they shouldn't have announced it before they knew it was ready.
    elijahg
  • Reply 13 of 14
    fred1fred1 Posts: 828member
    I don't know why people desire wireless charging.  It is still plugged in.  Apple cripples the wireless feature to 7.5w.  I can charge my iPhone much faster using my iPad's 18w charger.
    I agree. Wireless charging is also around 50% less efficient in terms of energy use.  I was charging my AirPods Pro wirelessly for a while and then tried doing it the "old fashioned" way - plugged in.  They charged much faster!  And, as you say, it's all still plugged in. 
  • Reply 14 of 14
    I use a stainless steel watch band (Juuk) so I can’t lay my watch down flat on a charging pad anyway. 
    watto_cobra
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