Apple Wins Patent on Long-Delayed AirPods Wireless Charging Case and AirPower

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today published a newly granted Apple patent related to an "inductively chargeable earbud case." While the AirPods and AirPower are not named in the patent, the illustrations clearly show an AirPods-like wireless charging case on an AirPower-like charging mat.

airpower airpods
Many current inductive charging mats require precisely aligning a smartphone or other device with the coils inside the mat for the most efficient power transfer. As noted by AppleInsider, however, Apple's patent describes a method that would allow the ‌AirPods‌ case to be placed anywhere on the ‌AirPower‌.

Apple's solution is to use a pair of small charging coils in the case, occupying the bottom left and right hand corners of the rear section, typically the side that would make contact with a charging pad. Both coils would be capable of receiving a charge from a charging pad, effectively doubling its chances of being in an optimal charging position.

This is just one of many patents Apple has been grated for an AirPods-like wireless charging case.

Apple first previewed the ‌AirPower‌ and optional ‌AirPods‌ wireless charging case at its September 2017 event. At the time, Apple promised that the ‌AirPower‌ was coming in 2018, but the year came and went without any release.

airpower airpods wireless case patent
Last year, a report suggested that Apple faced technical difficulties with the ‌AirPower‌ that likely delayed its release. Recent reports claim that Apple has since overcome those issues and instructed its suppliers to begin mass production of the ‌AirPower‌, with several rumors hinting at an imminent release.

Just a few days ago, for example, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said the ‌AirPower‌ and new ‌AirPods‌ case will launch in the first half of 2019.

Multiple sources claim Apple will host a special event at Steve Jobs Theater on Monday, March 25, but Apple's widely expected subscription-based news and video services are expected to be the focus of the keynote. By the sounds of it, there may be few to no hardware announcements at the event.

‌AirPower‌ already had stage time, so a press release could be appropriate for its release, potentially alongside embargoed reviews. Rumored updates to the iPad, iPad mini, and iPod touch also sound minor, with few changes expected beyond faster processors and a slightly larger screen for the 9.7-inch ‌iPad‌, so they could be press release worthy too.

Related Roundup: AirPods
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Don't Buy)
Related Forum: AirPods

Top Rated Comments

AngerDanger Avatar
29 months ago
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today published a newly granted Apple patent ('http://patft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=10206474.PN.&OS=PN/10206474&RS=PN/10206474') related to an "inductively chargeable earbud case." While the AirPods and AirPower are not named in the patent, the illustrations clearly show an AirPods-like wireless charging case on an AirPower-like charging mat.
:rolleyes: Okay, [USER=696996]@Joe Rossignol[/USER], I wouldn't say it's that clear. It seems just as likely that Apple is planning to release a competitor to those little hex bug robots. The images shown appear to be tiny little bots on a fun play mat for kids.



Attachment Image
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MintzMintz Avatar
29 months ago
What a WIN !!!
Who lost?

Patents are not won - unless challenged by other party...
They are simply granted !!!
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Statusnone88 Avatar
29 months ago
Maybe this is why things were delayed so long?
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CarlJ Avatar
29 months ago
But… but… I thought this was just vaporware! Yo—you know, because cause Apple is terrible, Tim C(R)ook is greedy, Steve Jobs never would've ________, etc.
Here, let me help: STEVE JOBS NEVER WOULD’VE PICKED TIM COOK TO RUN THIS COMPANY!!1!

Am I doing it right?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NT1440 Avatar
29 months ago
So sixteen charging coils instead of 1. Such innovation.
Go ahead and point to any device that intelligently determines which charging coils to activate regardless of orientation while also accounting for dangerous objects (like keys or paperclips) left on a charging surface.

There’s a lot more to AirPower than just “more coils”, you may not acknowledge that innovation in hard engineering problems is indeed innovation but it is.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cmaier Avatar
29 months ago
But… but… I thought this was just vaporware! Yo—you know, because cause Apple is terrible, Tim C(R)ook is greedy, Steve Jobs never would've ________, etc.
Are you suggesting that the fact something is patented means it is NOT vaporware? Have you even seen the USPTO patent database?

(Looking forward to your animated meme on this topic)
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

prosser macbook air colors stacked

Images Reveal Colorful New MacBook Air Design

Tuesday May 11, 2021 5:06 am PDT by
Apple's next MacBook Air will feature a completely new design and come in a range of colors like the 24-inch iMac, according to leaker Jon Prosser, who has now released supposedly accurate renders of the new machines based on leaked images. In a new video uploaded to YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser elaborated on his previous prediction that Apple's next-generation MacBook Air models ...
iPhone 13 Camera Backs

iPhone 13 Models Will Be Slightly Thicker and Will Have Larger Camera Bumps

Monday May 10, 2021 10:41 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 models will be slightly thicker than the iPhone 12 models and will also feature larger, thicker camera bumps with lenses that protrude less, according to iPhone 13 schematics seen by MacRumors. The new iPhone 13 and 13 Pro models are expected to feature a thickness of 7.57mm, up from 7.4mm in the iPhone 12 models. That's an increase of 0.17mm, which won't be hugely ...
3d printed airtag case siri remote

3D-Printed Case Lets You Attach an AirTag to Your Apple TV Remote

Monday May 10, 2021 8:11 am PDT by
Apple recently released a redesigned Siri Remote with a physical clickpad, but if you have an original Siri Remote laying around that you still plan on using, you may be interested in getting an AirTag case for the remote. Etsy user PrintSpiredDesigns has capitalized on the opportunity with a new 3D printed, made-to-order AirTag case for the original Siri Remote. The remote slides into the...
airtag hacked

AirTag Successfully Hacked to Show Custom URL in Lost Mode

Monday May 10, 2021 1:52 am PDT by
The inevitable race to hack Apple's AirTag item tracker has reportedly been won by a German security researcher, who managed to break into the device's microcontroller and successfully modify its firmware. Yesss!!! After hours of trying (and bricking 2 AirTags) I managed to break into the microcontroller of the AirTag! 🥳🥳🥳/cc @colinoflynn @LennertWo pic.twitter.com/zGALc2S2Ph— stacksmashing ...
zoom app icon

Apple Gave Zoom Access to Special API to Use iPad Camera During Split View Multitasking

Sunday May 9, 2021 2:00 am PDT by
Zoom, a hallmark platform used by millions during the global health crisis, has been given access to a special iPadOS API that allows the app to use the iPad camera while the app is in use in Split View multitasking mode. This case of special treatment was first brought to attention by app developer Jeremy Provost, who, in a blog post, explains that Zoom uses a special API that allows the...
tracking disabled ios 14 5

Analytics Suggest 96% of Users Leave App Tracking Disabled in iOS 14.5

Friday May 7, 2021 1:51 am PDT by
An early look at an ongoing analysis of Apple's App Tracking Transparency suggests that the vast majority of iPhone users are leaving app tracking disabled since the feature went live on April 26 with the release of iOS 14.5. According to the latest data from analytics firm Flurry, just 4% of iPhone users in the U.S. have actively chosen to opt into app tracking after updating their device...
Top Stories 59 Feature

Top Stories: Epic Games vs. Apple, Hidden AirTag Mode, Apple Music Hi-Fi, Colorful MacBook Air?

Saturday May 8, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
While we wait for the newly introduced iMac, iPad Pro, and Apple TV models to launch later this month, this week saw the kickoff of the big Epic Games v. Apple trial, with lots of juicy tidbits coming out as the two sides make their arguments. This week also saw some rumors about a Hi-Fi tier for Apple Music, more biometric sensing capabilities for Apple Watch, and timing for the...
Apple 5G Modem Feature

Kuo: Apple-Designed 5G Modem May Debut in iPhones as Early as 2023

Sunday May 9, 2021 10:02 pm PDT by
Apple plans to adopt its own custom-designed 5G baseband chip starting with the 2023 iPhones, meaning it'll no longer need to rely on Qualcomm to supply the 5G cellular modem for the iPhone, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in an investors note obtained by MacRumors. According to Kuo, Apple plans to include its own custom-designed 5G baseband chip starting with the launch of the 2023...
maxresdefault

Video: Make Your iPhone Last Longer With These Battery Preserving Tips

Monday May 10, 2021 1:23 pm PDT by
Maximizing battery life is something that many iPhone users deal with on a regular basis as we all want our iPhones to last as long as possible. Sometimes there are bugs in iOS that make the battery drain faster, and sometimes we just need to eke out as much as possible on a long day out and about. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. In our latest YouTube video, MacRumo...
m1 ipad pro chip

M1 iPad Pro Over 50% Faster Than Previous Generation in Early Benchmarks

Tuesday May 11, 2021 11:56 am PDT by
Last month, Apple introduced a new iPad Pro with the same M1 chip found in the latest Macs, and early benchmark results indicate that the M1 iPad Pro is over 50% faster than the previous-generation iPad Pro. Based on five legitimate Geekbench 5 results (here's the fifth) for the fifth-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro with the M1 chip, the device has average single-core and multi-core scores of...