AirPower Cancelled Four Years Ago, But Remains on Apple's Long-Term Roadmap

Apple cancelled its planned AirPower accessory four years ago this week, but a similar solution is said to remain on the company's long-term roadmap.

Announced at the iPhone X event in 2017, AirPower was a wireless charging mat designed to charge an iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods case simultaneously, regardless of each device's position on the mat. Apple said the accessory would be available in 2018, but it never launched and was ultimately cancelled in a rare move by Apple.

"After much effort, we've concluded AirPower will not achieve our high standards and we have cancelled the project," said Apple's former hardware engineering chief Dan Riccio, in a statement shared on March 29, 2019. "We continue to believe that the future is wireless and are committed to push the wireless experience forward."

Apple never provided a specific reason for the cancellation, but it is believed that the overlapping charging coils inside the AirPower led to overheating.

In his newsletter last October, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman said he still believes that an AirPower-like accessory will "eventually come to fruition," but it might be years away. In the meantime, the only multi-device charging mat sold by Apple is the MagSafe Duo Charger, which only works with two devices at once and has fixed charging positioning.

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Top Rated Comments

Apple Knowledge Navigator Avatar
16 months ago
I still don't understand the appeal of this concept. Why not just have three dedicated areas for each product? It would be virtually zero effort to place the product on a specific area of the pad rather than just anywhere - and let's face it, that 'anywhere' is confined to a small area anyway, in the event that you would actually need to charge three devices at a time.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
257Loner Avatar
16 months ago
Apple could produce an "AirPower" wireless charging pad for their Magic Mouse and remove that awkward charging port on the bottom.

From this:

To this:

Attachment Image

Attachment Image
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NoelWalker Avatar
16 months ago
In the meantime, Apple should update the MagSafe Duo with USB-C and AW fast charging. It would be even better if they also fix the camera bump alignment.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jmgregory1 Avatar
16 months ago
Beyond the likely overheating issue that comes with overlapping inefficient charging coils, this idea that consumers want to be able to set down their devices randomly onto a pad for charging wasn’t quite right from the beginning. Sure, we consumers would like to be able to set down our devices randomly on a nightstand, for example, and when we pick them up in the morning, they’re fully charged. But having to place 2-3 devices within a very limited space on a pad already forces you to have to line them up so they fit on the pad, negating the whole random placement idea.

And with Apple adding magnets to the Qi standard, it really kills the whole random placement charging concept, as each device is effectively self-aligned with the charging coils.

What I think remains strange for Apple to be doing is pushing wireless charging in the first place. It is far less efficient than a wired connection and that loss of energy is costing us (and the environment) money for almost zero benefit. It’s also not saving us time, as wired connections can offer much faster charging speeds. Imagine forgetting to charge your iPhone and in the morning having 8% battery left. You plug it into your fast charger and in 20 minutes (while you shower and get ready for work/school) your iPhone is fully charged. To me, that would be far more convenient than having to remember to set your iPhone onto the magnetic charging puck.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
paradox00 Avatar
16 months ago
AirPower as originally envisioned, is almost certainly dead at Apple. The Qi2 standard incorporates magnets like Magsafe does. Why would you build layers of coils that overheat when you could just have charging zones that devices snap to instead?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Analog Kid Avatar
16 months ago
Is this on someone's anniversary calendar along with Steve's birth, death, first tooth, and day the iPhone launched?

It was cancelled 4 years ago. Why are we still talking about it? Because Gurman thinks it's still years away?

If it hasn't shipped by now and we're still hearing it might ship 10 years after it was announced, it's because some engineer somewhere in the bowels of Apple Park refuses to let go of his dreams...

"I work for Apple and a lot of us think the visor is a waste of time and we should really put that energy into finishing Air Power-- we're only one or two prototypes from getting it right, I'm sure of it." ?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)