AirPower Misses Promised 2018 Launch, But Might Not Be Canceled
The calendar has turned over to a new year and Apple has officially failed to deliver on its promise of releasing the AirPower mat in 2018.
Apple first previewed the multi-device wireless charging accessory at Steve Jobs Theater in September 2017, shortly after introducing the iPhone X, and indicated that it would be released at some point last year in a press release:
Apple gave a sneak peek of AirPower, an Apple-designed wireless charging accessory coming in 2018, which offers a generous active charging area that will allow iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus or iPhone X customers to simultaneously charge up to three devices, including Apple Watch Series 3 and a new optional wireless charging case for AirPods.
2018 has come and gone, though, and Apple has not commented on the AirPower for many months. Following its September 2018 event, the company removed all but a few mentions of the accessory from its website.
AirPower is still referenced in the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR user guides, on the Apple Watch Series 3 tech specs page, and in some recent Apple job listings, while Apple has recently applied for a few AirPower-related patents, so there remains some hope for a future release despite the missed deadline.
Sonny Dickson, a source of iPhone leaks in the past, said Apple has faced technical challenges with the AirPower, including overheating. A few days ago, developer Steve Troughton-Smith said he's heard Apple may have overcome those problems and can hopefully move forward with releasing the AirPower.
Where is AirPower? 🤷♂️ All I’ve been hearing is ‘they’ve finally fixed it’, so, if true, it could ship as a product whenever Apple wants. Hopefully alongside the smart battery case for the XS?
— Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) December 31, 2018
In a late October research note obtained by MacRumors, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo wrote that Apple may launch the AirPower "in late 4Q18 or early 1Q19," suggesting that the AirPower could be released as late as March.
The delayed or canceled release of the AirPower is likely the reason why Apple has yet to release its optional wireless charging case for AirPods, which remains listed as "currently unavailable" on Apple's website. Like the AirPower, Kuo had said the wireless case may be released by the first quarter of 2019.
At this point, it's a game of wait and see. With the holiday season in the rearview mirror, hopefully Apple provides some clarity on the situation soon.