AirPower Prototype Seen Charging Apple Watch for First Time

A prototype of Apple's ill-fated AirPower wireless charger has been seen charging an Apple Watch for the first time.

‌AirPower‌ was an Apple-designed charging mat designed to charge Qi-based iPhones, the Apple Watch, and ‌AirPods‌ that the company announced in September 2017 alongside the iPhone X. ‌AirPower‌ was designed so that users could place an ‌‌iPhone‌‌, ‌AirPods‌, and Apple Watch on any part of the mat to charge them, which meant that multiple overlapping charging coils had to be included.

It would have prompted devices to display a unique on-screen iOS animation when they were placed on the charging mat, as seen in Apple's early marketing materials. An ‌iPhone‌ on the ‌AirPower‌ charger would also have shown the charge of all of the devices that were placed on the pad. ‌AirPower‌ missed its original 2018 launch date goal, and after a large number of issues with its development, Apple outright canceled the AirPower project in March 2019.

Images depicting ‌AirPower‌ prototypes first surfaced on social media in August 2020, showing a multi-coil design and the device's internal circuitry, and the first video footage of the device emerged in August 2021. Multiple other AirPower prototypes have appeared since then, but most are no longer functional.

A new video from the X user "Apple Demo," who has showcased various Apple prototypes in the past, demonstrates the ‌AirPower‌'s ability to charge an Apple Watch. The device features 16 coils and can charge a DVT prototype Apple Watch Series 4, but it apparently gets quite warm. Late last year, a functional AirPower prototype from early on in its development exhibited some of the severe thermal problems, including burning or melting devices placed on the charging pad, that ultimately led Apple to abandon the project.

‌AirPower‌'s ability to charge an Apple Watch would have been special because Apple's smartwatch is only able to charge via its magnetic charging puck and does not support Qi. Simply placing an Apple Watch anywhere on the ‌AirPower‌ pad with no magnetic alignment would have been a unique charging experience.

Rumors in subsequent years about Apple's work on a smaller wireless charger seem to have been related to MagSafe or the ‌MagSafe‌ Duo charger, rather than ‌AirPower‌. Nevertheless, a report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman in 2022 said that Apple is still looking into AirPower-like charging solutions for the future.

Update: Apple Demo has now shared a new video of the ‌AirPower‌ prototype.

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Top Rated Comments

Mrkevinfinnerty Avatar
7 weeks ago
Footage of it charging the watch and an iPhone

Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
xizdun Avatar
7 weeks ago

So showing a phone in fire and claiming it’s air power related without a citation and without air power seems like you’re trolling the forums.
Holy crap. It’s a joke! This guy doesn’t understand sarcasm. ?‍♂️
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jrlcopy Avatar
7 weeks ago
I think overall, it failing led to MagSafe?, and it feels like the superior product.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mrkevinfinnerty Avatar
7 weeks ago

Where’s the AirPower or is this just fake news?
It's completely real. ?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
arkitect Avatar
7 weeks ago

So showing a phone in fire and claiming it’s air power related without a citation and without air power seems like you’re trolling the forums.
Do you genuinely fail to see the joke?

You don't have to find it funny, but it is such an obvious joke…
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
truthsteve Avatar
7 weeks ago
I have a feeling they wanted to charge AirTags with builtin batteries the same way too
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)