Rumored AirPower revival reportedly shelved, project likely dead

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited October 2020
Apple's rumored initiative to resurrect the AirPower free-placement wireless charging mat might be dead in the water, with a new leak claiming the company has likely scrapped the project.

AirPower


Citing sources familiar with the matter, leaker Jon Prosser on Monday said scheduled AirPower prototyping and testing was recently removed from Apple's 2021 calendar. It seems the project has been delayed indefinitely.

"Sources doubt that it'll ever be picked back up again. Seems like once again, AirPower is dead," Prosser said in a tweet.

Announced in 2017, AirPower was Apple's attempt at creating a charger that served its entire mobile device ecosystem. Initial versions of the mat, as demonstrated to press during that year's iPhone X event, were capable of powering up to three devices including Apple Watch. The charger incorporated an array of coils to enable free placement charging, a tentpole feature that is now available in third-party products like those made by Nomad.

After multiple delays, Apple officially cancelled AirPower in 2019. The company declined to disclose what led to the project's termination, with executives saying the device did "not achieve our high standards." Subsequent reports pointed to problems related to overheating.

Roughly a year later, reports of an AirPower revival began to surface. It was suggested that the tech giant resumed prototyping and testing, and potentially solved the overheating issue by integrating an A11 processor for advanced power management.

With AirPower rumored to be completely abandoned, Apple is expected to forge ahead with its new MagSafe wireless charging protocol. Introduced alongside the iPhone 12 series earlier in October, MagSafe is a magnetic charging format that enables fast 15W charging and modular attachment of cases, wallets and other various accessories.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    M68000M68000 Posts: 373member
    Not much of a surprise?   Now that mag safe is the new thing.  Have no first hand experience with new iPhones but have to think the magnetic fields in the new phone won’t work with AirPower concept? I find nothing wrong with simplicity of Qi charging but will be interesting to see consumer feedback on MagSafe in the coming months. 
  • Reply 2 of 11
    XedXed Posts: 1,068member
    I was never a likely customer for this, but I did want to see it come to fruition since first seeing demos by PowerbyProxri a decade ago. It always seemed like both an obvious desire and a potential hazard. I hope that Apple didn't lose money on purchasing that company's IP.


    CloudTalkin
  • Reply 3 of 11
    Lets hope the MagSafe folding dual charger does not see the same fate.... its no where to be found on Apples site.   it will be an embarrassment !
    mwhitespheric
  • Reply 4 of 11
    Even with Mag Safe, a very nice solution, I’d never say never. The heat issue can be solved - and Apple can certainly afford to have a small team keep working on it. And then Apple will revive the AirPower. 
    edited October 2020 watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 11
    XedXed Posts: 1,068member
    Lets hope the MagSafe folding dual charger does not see the same fate.... its no where to be found on Apples site.   it will be an embarrassment !
    That's highly unlikely based on the technology involved. It, like many accessories are delayed a bit longer fore reasons we Neve seem to know.
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 11
    Lets hope the MagSafe folding dual charger does not see the same fate.... its no where to be found on Apples site.   it will be an embarrassment !
    I think the MagSafe folding dual charger is Apple's admission that AirPower was unsolvable due to incompatibility between standard Qi and Apple's proprietary Qi fork for the Apple Watch.  I think that's why they separated the pucks.  I've always thought that incompatibility was the Achilles Heel of AirPower.  
  • Reply 7 of 11
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,694member
    Lets hope the MagSafe folding dual charger does not see the same fate.... its no where to be found on Apples site.   it will be an embarrassment !
    I think the MagSafe folding dual charger is Apple's admission that AirPower was unsolvable due to incompatibility between standard Qi and Apple's proprietary Qi fork for the Apple Watch.  I think that's why they separated the pucks.  I've always thought that incompatibility was the Achilles Heel of AirPower.  
    Is there any evidence anywhere for this? Gruber has contacts inside Apple and he's always suggested it was a heat issue. He handled a working unit during an Apple event.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 11
    flydogflydog Posts: 1,015member
    Apple cancelled the project over a year ago so how is this news?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 11
    flydogflydog Posts: 1,015member
    Lets hope the MagSafe folding dual charger does not see the same fate.... its no where to be found on Apples site.   it will be an embarrassment !
    I think the MagSafe folding dual charger is Apple's admission that AirPower was unsolvable due to incompatibility between standard Qi and Apple's proprietary Qi fork for the Apple Watch.  I think that's why they separated the pucks.  I've always thought that incompatibility was the Achilles Heel of AirPower.  
    Huh?  That can easily be solved by using the same charging standard on the watch. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 11
    Lets hope the MagSafe folding dual charger does not see the same fate.... its no where to be found on Apples site.   it will be an embarrassment !
    I think the MagSafe folding dual charger is Apple's admission that AirPower was unsolvable due to incompatibility between standard Qi and Apple's proprietary Qi fork for the Apple Watch.  I think that's why they separated the pucks.  I've always thought that incompatibility was the Achilles Heel of AirPower.  
    Is there any evidence anywhere for this? Gruber has contacts inside Apple and he's always suggested it was a heat issue. He handled a working unit during an Apple event.
    It has always been suggested to be a heating issue.  The heating issue was rumored to be caused by the incompatibility between standard Qi and Apple's proprietiary Qi fork.
    Here's just one of the threads speculating about the incompatibility.  You actually participated in this thread.  https://forums.appleinsider.com/discussion/215393/apple-engineers-reportedly-testing-new-prototype-airpower-with-a11-processor/p1 ; There are others, but this one will suffice for your request of evidence.

  • Reply 11 of 11
    flydog said:
    Lets hope the MagSafe folding dual charger does not see the same fate.... its no where to be found on Apples site.   it will be an embarrassment !
    I think the MagSafe folding dual charger is Apple's admission that AirPower was unsolvable due to incompatibility between standard Qi and Apple's proprietary Qi fork for the Apple Watch.  I think that's why they separated the pucks.  I've always thought that incompatibility was the Achilles Heel of AirPower.  
    Huh?  That can easily be solved by using the same charging standard on the watch. 
    But that would require changing the Apple watch from a proprietary fork of Qi to standard Qi.  If they did that, AW series 0-6 currently out in the wild could be charged by the new charger.  AW can't be charged by standard Qi.  Wouldn't be a good look.
Sign In or Register to comment.