Video Demonstrates Semi-Functional AirPower Prototype in Action

Back in August, a video of an AirPower prototype gave us a closer look at Apple's abandoned wireless charging device, but the unit was not functional in any practical way. Now, thanks to a collaboration between YouTube channels Apple Demo and Unbox Therapy, we can see an ‌AirPower‌ prototype that actually charges devices – albeit with some major caveats.

working airpower prototype apple demo
‌Announced in 2017 alongside the iPhone X, ‌AirPower‌‌ was designed so that an ‌‌iPhone‌‌, ‌AirPods‌, and Apple Watch could be placed on any portion of the mat and the devices would charge, which meant that multiple overlapping charging coils (22 in all) had to be included.

To demonstrate the charging, Apple Demo provided Unbox Therapy with a rare ‌AirPower‌ prototype with one functioning coil in the bottom right corner of the mat, along with an explicit set of instructions on how to use the ill-fated device without damaging the unit or injuring oneself in the process, given its propensity to overheat.


To power on the ‌AirPower‌, Unbox Therapy uses a MacBook Pro's USB-C port with a genuine Apple Lightning to USB-C cable, as advised. Like other ‌‌AirPower‌‌ prototypes, the unit does not feature the white exterior shell that Apple marketed the device with, exposing its internal circuitry on the back. Apple Demo cautions not to touch this side of the ‌AirPower‌, as they had done so by accident and received a bad electric shock.

airpower prototype
Apple Demo warns that only Apple devices should be charged on the ‌AirPower‌, and preferably only ‌iPhone‌ X models or AirPods. The ‌AirPower‌ prototype is unable to charge any Apple Watch models or any newer devices with MagSafe magnets. Additionally, "Max" devices (like ‌iPhone‌ XS Max) should be avoided as well because they could cause damage if they draw more power.

Apple Demo also advises not to leave the ‌AirPower‌ connected to power for an extended period of time – up to a maximum of one minute – and to leave the unit for five minutes to cool down and prevent damage before placing anything else on it.

Respecting these instructions, Unbox Therapy places an ‌iPhone‌ X on the corner of the mat, whereupon it begins to charge wirelessly – and stays charging for the short time the phone is left on the mat. After a cooldown period, an AirPods case is placed on the mat that also responds to the working coil.

apple airpower
‌AirPower‌‌ missed its original 2018 launch date goal and Apple shelved the project in March 2019 due to problems with overheating, buggy inter-device communication, and mechanical and interference issues. But the video also highlights the fact that in some ways ‌AirPower‌ was a product of its time and technology has moved on since Apple came up with the idea.

For example, Unbox Therapy makes the salient point that ‌AirPower‌ is poorly designed for many of today's Apple Watch bands that don't lie flat when taken off the wrist and placed down (the Solo Loop, for example). Whether this factored into Apple's reasoning to abandon the ‌AirPower‌ is unknown, but it's the main reason why most third-party multi-device wireless chargers come with a raised stand that enables the band to loop behind the charging pad without having to take it off.

Rumors in subsequent years about Apple's work on a smaller wireless charger may have been related to ‌MagSafe‌ or the ‌‌MagSafe‌‌ Duo charger, rather than another ‌AirPower-like device‌. That said, a report from reliable Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman last year said that Apple is still looking into AirPower-like charging solutions for the future.

Top Rated Comments

randolorian Avatar
7 weeks ago
Warning: Pregnant women, the elderly, and children under 10 should avoid prolonged exposure to Apple AirPower.

Caution: Apple AirPower may suddenly accelerate to dangerous speeds.

Apple AirPower contains a liquid core, which, if exposed due to rupture, should not be touched, inhaled, or looked at.

Do not use Apple AirPower on concrete.

Discontinue use of Apple AirPower if any of the following occurs:

* itching
* vertigo
* dizziness
* tingling in extremities
* loss of balance or coordination
* slurred speech
* temporary blindness
* profuse sweating
* or heart palpitations.

If Apple AirPower begins to smoke, get away immediately. Seek shelter and cover head.

Apple AirPower may stick to certain types of skin.

When not in use, Apple AirPower should be returned to its special container and kept under refrigeration. Failure to do so relieves the makers of AirPower, Apple Incorporated, of any and all liability.

Ingredients of Apple AirPower include an unknown glowing green substance which fell to Earth, presumably from outer space.

Apple AirPower has been shipped to our troops in Saudi Arabia and is being dropped by our warplanes on Iraq.

Do not taunt Apple AirPower.

Apple AirPower comes with a lifetime warranty.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Fraserh02 Avatar
7 weeks ago
It's been five years now and this is no longer arguably needed with MagSafe. Also, of all YouTuber's Unbox Therapy.. really!
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PsykX Avatar
7 weeks ago
Luke Miani made the same video like 3 months ago.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lotzosushi Avatar
7 weeks ago
There are a bunch of other videos from other YouTubers who do a 100% better job at explaining the history and technology that goes behind AirPower and why it failed. They also got their hands on testing with the prototypes.
But of course you chose not to cover them until this garbage YouTuber posts something. Absolutely cannot stand him. Stop giving overractiontherapy views.

For those that want to watch more informative videos on this that came out first:

Luke Miani's AirPower Video ('//www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3Wdf5_t_2Y')


91Tech's AirPower Video ('//www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Mb_LXJyHFw&t=2s')
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Account25476 Avatar
7 weeks ago
This product doesn’t make any sense anymore.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sanme Avatar
7 weeks ago
Nobody cares ?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

airpower promo recreation

Video Provides Detailed Look at Apple AirPower Prototype

Friday August 19, 2022 6:27 am PDT by
A hands-on video of an Apple AirPower prototype from 2017 has today been shared on YouTube, providing a closer look at Apple's short-lived wireless charging device. The deep dive into the AirPower prototype comes from a collaboration by YouTube channels 91Tech and Apple Demo, who acquired an Apple AirPower prototype. AirPower was an Apple-designed charging mat designed to charge Qi-based...
1 Zens 4 in 1

Hands-On With the Zens 4-in-1 MagSafe Charging Station for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and AirPods

Wednesday November 30, 2022 4:18 pm PST by
Apple today started selling new Zens charging accessories, including a modular 4-in-1 charging stand for the iPhone, iPad, AirPods, and Apple Watch. I got my hands on this stand and have outlined my first impressions below. The stand delivers the fastest possible charging speeds for the latest Apple devices. A built-in MagSafe charger wirelessly charges the iPhone 12 and newer at up to 15W,...
OtterBox Chargers November 2022

Apple Begins Selling Several New Multi-Device MagSafe Charging Stands From OtterBox and Zens

Wednesday November 30, 2022 8:03 am PST by
Apple today started selling several new multi-device charging accessories from OtterBox and Zens for the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and AirPods. The accessories are currently available for shipping in early to mid-December. OtterBox's new 2-in-1 power banks OtterBox's new 2-in-1 power bank with MagSafe can wirelessly charge an iPhone at up to 15W speeds and also has an Apple Watch magnetic...
anker cube 1

Apple Now Selling Anker 3-in-1 MagSafe Cube, Twelve South 5-Foot iPad Stand and More

Friday October 21, 2022 1:34 pm PDT by
Apple today added several new accessories to its online store, debuting popular products from brands like Anker, Mophie, and Twelve South. The new Anker 3-in-1 Cube with MagSafe is a MagSafe-certified charging accessory that can charge the iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods all at once. Priced at $150, the Anker Cube is available in Apple retail stores as of right now, and it should soon be...
maxresdefault

Video: Mac Desktop Accessories Worth Checking Out

Friday November 18, 2022 1:22 pm PST by
Every so often, MacRumors videographer Dan Barbera updates his desk with new Mac-centric products that help improve his workflow as he records and edits videos for the site. Dan has just shared a 2022 desk update over on the MacRumors YouTube channel, highlighting all kinds of new desk accessories that you might want to check out for your own setup. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel ...
unreleased apple magic charger

Images of Unreleased 'Apple Magic Charger' Surface Online

Tuesday November 15, 2022 8:27 am PST by
Images of an unreleased Apple MagSafe charging accessory called the "Apple Magic Charger" have surfaced online over the past couple of weeks. Image via @TheBlueMister Rare Apple product collector and Twitter user "TheBlueMister" first shared images of the unreleased accessory earlier this month. Since then, other collectors based in Asia seem to have got their hands on Design Validation Test...
airpods usb c ken pillonel

Gurman: AirPods and Mac Accessories Likely to Switch to USB-C by 2024

Sunday October 9, 2022 6:11 am PDT by
All three AirPods models and Mac accessories like the Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad are likely to transition to USB-C by 2024, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. AirPods Charging Case with USB-C port by Ken Pillonel. Earlier this week, the European Parliament approved a new directive to force manufacturers to offer USB-C as a common charging port across a wide range of devices in...
airpods pro 2

Four Ways You Can Charge AirPods Pro 2

Thursday September 22, 2022 6:33 am PDT by
Apple's latest AirPods Pro 2 sport the same uniquely Apple design but with more improved and more powerful features under the hood, including better noise canceling, adaptive Transparency, Touch volume controls, and a built-in speaker for the case to help you locate it with Find My. For more flexibility when traveling with second-generation AirPods Pro, Apple has also made its signature...

Popular Stories

Emergency SOS via Satellite iPhone YT

Apple's iPhone 14 Emergency SOS via Satellite Feature Saves Stranded Man in Alaska

Thursday December 1, 2022 4:37 pm PST by
With the launch of iOS 16.1, Apple rolled out a Emergency SOS via Satellite, which is designed to allow iPhone 14 owners to contact emergency services using satellite connectivity when no cellular or WiFi connection is available. The feature was put to the test in Alaska today, when a man became stranded in a rural area. In the early hours of the morning on December 1, Alaska State Troopers ...
iPhone Measure Height

Newer iPhones Allow You to Measure Someone's Height Instantly — Here's How

Saturday December 3, 2022 10:23 am PST by
iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max, iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max, and iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models feature a LiDAR Scanner next to the rear camera that can be used to measure a person's height instantly in Apple's preinstalled Measure app. To measure a person's height, simply open the Measure app, point your iPhone at the person you want to measure, and make sure they are visible on the screen from...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

iOS 16.2 for iPhone Launching This Month With These 8 New Features

Thursday December 1, 2022 8:44 am PST by
Apple plans to publicly release iOS 16.2 for the iPhone in mid-December, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The update remains in beta testing for now, with at least eight new features and changes already uncovered so far. iOS 16.2 introduces a number of new features, including Apple's new whiteboard app Freeform, two new Lock Screen widgets for Sleep and Medications, the ability to hide...
iOS 16

When Will iOS 16.2 Be Released?

Friday December 2, 2022 2:13 pm PST by
Apple in late October began testing iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2 updates, providing betas to both developers and public beta testers. As of now, we've had four total betas, with the fourth beta having been released earlier this week. iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2 are expected before the end of the year, and we thought we'd try to narrow down the launch timeline. With only four betas released since...
14 vs 16 inch mbp m2 pro and max feature 1

Major RAM Upgrade Coming to Next-Generation MacBook Pro

Friday December 2, 2022 2:03 am PST by
The next-generation MacBook Pro models could feature faster RAM, according to a recent report from a reliable source. MacRumors Forums member "Amethyst," who accurately revealed details about the Mac Studio and Studio Display before those products were announced, recently provided information about Apple's upcoming 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models. The new machines are expected to feature...
iPad 10 Battery Pull Tabs

iPad 10 Teardown Reveals Why Device Isn't Compatible With Apple Pencil 2

Thursday December 1, 2022 10:48 am PST by
Do-it-yourself repair website iFixit today shared a video teardown of Apple's new 10th-generation iPad, providing a closer look inside the tablet and revealing why the device lacks support for the second-generation Apple Pencil. The teardown reveals the internal layout of the iPad, including its two-cell 7,606 mAh battery, logic board with the A14 Bionic chip, and more. As suspected, the...
android apple fix rcs

Google Again Criticizes Apple for Not Adopting RCS for Messages App: 'Their Texting is Stuck in the 1990s'

Friday December 2, 2022 10:54 am PST by
Google is continuing on with its attempt to convince Apple to adopt the RCS messaging standard, publishing a new "it's time for RCS" blog post. Promoted heavily by Google, RCS or Rich Communication Services is a messaging standard that is designed to replace the current SMS messaging standard. It provides support for higher resolution photos and videos, audio messages, and bigger file sizes, ...
ios 16 2 beta notifiation center

PSA: Older Notifications No Longer Hidden in Notification Center in iOS 16.2 Beta 4

Friday December 2, 2022 5:23 am PST by
In a small but significant change to the way the Notification Center works in the latest iOS 16.2 beta, older notifications are now shown by default without having to swipe up. In the current release as well as earlier versions of iOS 16, users do not automatically see older notifications in the Notification Center like they did in iOS 15, and instead must manually swipe up from the middle...
lastpass

LastPass Hacked for Second Time This Year

Friday December 2, 2022 4:04 am PST by
Password management app LastPass says it is investigating a security incident after an "unauthorized party" compromised its systems on Wednesday and gained access to some customer information. The information was stored in a third-party cloud service shared by LastPass and parent company GoTo, said LastPass CEO Karim Toubba in a blog post. Toubba said the hackers used information stolen from ...
Apple Card Savings

Apple Card Customer Agreement Updated for 'Upcoming' Savings Account Feature

Friday December 2, 2022 11:43 am PST by
Goldman Sachs this week updated its Apple Card customer agreement to reflect the credit card's upcoming Daily Cash savings account feature, which was expected to launch with iOS 16.1 but appears to have been delayed. "To enable new ways to use Daily Cash like the upcoming Savings account feature, we are updating the Daily Cash Program section of your Apple Card Customer Agreement," reads an...