Apple Still Working on AirPower-Like Charger, Also Long-Range Wireless Charging and Reverse Charging
In the latest edition of the journalist's Power On newsletter, Gurman reiterates earlier reports that Apple still intends to create a wireless charging accessory that would charge multiple devices like an iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods all at once.
Apple first announced the AirPower in September 2017 alongside the iPhone 8 and iPhone X. At the time, Apple said the charging product would launch sometime in 2018, but that didn't happen. Following months of rumors about development issues, Apple canceled the project in March 2019.
Since then, Apple has rolled out MagSafe charging for its iPhones, including the MagSafe Duo accessory, which can wirelessly charge an Apple Watch and iPhone in tandem, although the Duo is just two separate wireless chargers joined together. If Gurman is correct, Apple still plans to release a charging device that can charge up all three products at the same time.
Continuing the theme, Gurman says he believes Apple is still investigating charging solutions that don't rely on contact-based inductive charging technology. Specifically, he mentions Apple is working on "short and long distance wireless charging devices" and that the company "imagines" a future where all of its major devices can charge each other. "Imagine an iPad charging an iPhone and then that iPhone charging AirPods or an Apple Watch," adds Gurman.
We've long heard rumors of so-called reverse wireless charging capabilities for recent iPhone series. The closest it has come is with its MagSafe battery pack, which can receive power from an iPhone when the latter device is plugged in and charging.
Given the MagSafe Battery Pack's reverse wireless charging feature, it seems technically possible that an iPhone 12 or iPhone 13 could deliver power to AirPods or AirPods Pro, but Apple has not yet implemented this feature.