AirPower: Maybe Not so Dead After All?

by

AirPower Revived?

Though Apple decided not to make the AirPower after announcing it, there have been rumors that the Cupertino company is still quietly working on a wireless charging solution.

In January, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who often accurately predicts Apple's product plans, said that Apple was working on a "small wireless charging mat" to be released at some point in 2020. No other details were included.

In March, YouTuber Jon Prosser claimed that "AirPower isn't dead" and that the project was "back on internally." Prosser said that there's no guarantee that the product will be finalized and released, but Apple "hasn't given up yet" and is attempting to "re-engineer the coils" to more effectively displace heat.

Prosser in June 2020 said that Apple has overcome issues with Apple Watch charging and he shared a "prototype" of the device, known as C68 internally. The charger is allegedly equipped with an A11 chip and a reduced number of coils compared to the original AirPower. Prosser has said the device could launch as early as Q4 2020 and it will cost around $250.

The "prototype" images shared by Prosser ultimately turned out to be fake and of a clone device that's not an AirPower and not designed by Apple, so it's not clear if Prosser's other information is correct.

The alleged "AirPower" prototype that turned out to be fake

It's worth noting that other reliable Apple rumor sources, such as Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, do not believe that Prosser's AirPower leaks are accurate, but there there does still appear to be some kind of wireless charger in development if Kuo is to be believed.

A video of a curious Apple wireless charger prototype surfaced in September, but it's not clear what it is or what it's for. It looks like part of a larger accessory, though that does not mean that it's something designed for release.


It could possibly be an accessory for use in Apple Stores for displaying products, or something provided to Apple's Made for iPhone partners. It does appear to match up with part leaks that have suggested the iPhone 12 models will have magnets inside that will let them better attach to wireless charging accessories.

Apple Cancels AirPower - March 2019

Apple has canceled all work on the AirPower and has no plans to release the device. In a statement provided to TechCrunch, Apple's senior VP of hardware engineering said that the AirPower was unable to achieve Apple's high standards for products and that work on the project was ceasing.

"After much effort, we've concluded AirPower will not achieve our high standards and we have cancelled the project. We apologize to those customers who were looking forward to this launch. We continue to believe that the future is wireless and are committed to push the wireless experience forward."

Leaked AirPower Internal Photos

Photos allegedly from the now-discontinued AirPower surfaced on social networks in August 2020, depicting a multi-coil design that would have been used to charge an ‌iPhone‌, Apple Watch, and AirPods no matter where they're placed on the mat.


There's also a circuit board laden with chips that would have served as the brains of the device. We don't know if these photos actually depict the ‌AirPower‌ as there's nothing in the design that specifically ties them to Apple, but it can't be ruled out either.


If the photos are real, they appear to be from the AirPower that was discontinued in 2019 rather than a new wireless charger that's in the works.


AirPower Alternatives

Though the AirPower has been canceled, there are some alternative third-party options that are designed to charge multiple devices at once. No third-party charger does exactly what the AirPower promised because that was an impossibility, but they do all charge more than one device, and some of them are able to charge ‌AirPods‌, ‌iPhone‌, and Apple Watch all together.


Check out our dedicated AirPower Alternatives guide to see the full list of options.

What was AirPower?

AirPower was an Apple-designed charging mat designed to charge Qi-based iPhones, the Apple Watch, and the ‌AirPods‌, using a specially designed ‌AirPods‌ Wireless Charging Case, which Apple introduced in March 2019.

Apple's AirPower was proprietary and intended to combine at least two different wireless charging methods -- Qi and then the Apple Watch charger, which is inductive and not Qi based.


It was designed so that you could place an ‌iPhone‌, ‌AirPods‌, or Apple Watch on any portion of the mat to have the device charge, which meant multiple overlapping chargers must be included.

The AirPower mat would have been big enough to charge all three devices at one time, with the AirPower itself connected to an external power source, perhaps using a USB-C cable.

In Apple's renderings, AirPower also had a feature that let the ‌iPhone‌ display the wireless charging level of all of the devices on the mat, including the ‌iPhone‌ itself, the Apple Watch, and the ‌AirPods‌.

Where Is AirPower?

AirPower missed its 2018 launch date, and while Apple was quiet on the reason why, rumors suggested there were serious manufacturing issues and kinks to be worked out.

Apple was forced to delay the AirPower after having trouble dealing with the complex multi-device charging circuitry, software bugs, and the potential for overheating.

Over the course of 2018, Apple was working out kinks including heat management, inter-device communication, and interference issues, and there were times during development where rumors suggested Apple could potentially be planning to nix the AirPower, but there were consistent mentions in 2018 iPhone packaging, and recently an image of the AirPower with an iPhone XS was spotted on Apple's website.


Unfortunately, those technical challenges proved to be too much, and Apple ultimately canceled the AirPower project in March 2019.

When Was AirPower Supposed to Launch?

Apple announced AirPower in September 2017 alongside the ‌iPhone‌ 8, 8 Plus, and X, and said at the time that it would launch sometime in 2018.

2018 came and went, and Apple gave no further official info on when the AirPower would debut in the early months of 2019.

Rumors from Apple's supply chain in China suggested the manufacturing issues had been solved by January 2019, and according to The Wall Street Journal, Apple approved production of the AirPower earlier in the year, which suggested it could be coming soon.

Code found within iOS 12.2, an update released to the public on March 25, suggested that Apple may have been gearing up to launch the AirPower around that time. Apple also obtained an AirPower trademark around the same time, seemingly purchasing it from the company that had previously registered it. Finally, DigiTimes said we could expect the AirPower in late March.

All of those rumors and hints failed to pan out, however, and Apple ultimately canceled the launch over 18 months after the product was announced.

What Would AirPower Have Cost?

Apple never announced pricing for the AirPower, but there were some guesses. Chinese "industry insiders" in August 2018 suggested the AirPower could cost somewhere around $1,000 Chinese yuan, equivalent to right around $147.

Back in November 2017, a Polish website suggested the AirPower would cost around 999 złoty, equivalent to $199.

Given that both of these rumors came from well before the AirPower was even in production, neither were particularly reliable, but we thought it reasonable to expect a price tag in the neighborhood of $130 to $200 based on the price points of competing wireless charging devices and Apple's accessory pricing in general.

Which Devices Would Have Worked With AirPower?

  • ‌iPhone‌ - All Qi-compatible iPhones were to work with AirPower, which includes ‌iPhone‌ 8, ‌iPhone‌ 8 Plus, ‌iPhone‌ X, ‌iPhone XS‌, ‌iPhone XS‌ Max, and iPhone XR.
  • ‌AirPods‌ - Using AirPower with ‌AirPods‌ required the ‌AirPods‌ Wireless Charging Case, which Apple introduced in March 2019.
  • Apple Watch - AirPower would have worked with the Apple Watch Series 3 and later. It would not have been compatible with Series 2 and older watches.

AirPower Rumors

AirPower was announced in September 2017, and at the time, Apple promised a 2018 launch date. Multiple rumors initially suggested a possible March 2018 release, but March came and went, and there was also no sign of AirPower at WWDC in June or at the September ‌iPhone‌ event.

After its September ‌iPhone‌ event, Apple wiped almost every mention of the AirPower from its website, and rumors later in September indicated that Apple was having problems with overheating, interference, and software.

Dire reports suggested the AirPower was doomed to fail if engineers couldn't solve a number of issues plaguing the device, but when the ‌iPhone XS‌ and XS Max launched a bit later in September, we found AirPower documentation, suggesting work on the device was still underway.


In October 2018, we heard the AirPower was going to be released in late 2018 or early 2019, but after Apple's October 30th event came and went with no AirPower mention, it became clear Apple wasn't going to make its 2018 deadline.

In December, Apple was still mentioning the AirPower in job listings, and then in early January, refreshed rumors hinted that mass production would soon start. AirPower was also mentioned in the product description for the recently released Smart Battery Case in some countries, and in January 2019 DigiTimes said it was still coming "later in 2019."

MySmartPrice, a site with a mixed track record when it comes to rumors, said that Apple's AirPower would be thicker than expected due to an 8-7-7 coil configuration and that it would launch in spring 2019.

Related Articles

Photos Depict Alleged Internals of Canceled AirPower

Friday August 21, 2020 9:30 am PDT by
Apple nixed its AirPower wireless charger in May 2019 after it was unable to manufacture the device in a way that would meet Apple's standards, allegedly due to problems with overheating and reliability. Leaker Mr-white (@laobaiTD), who has in the past shared leaked component photos and details on Apple's plans, today tweeted some photos that he claims feature the now-dead AirPower, which...

Apple Allegedly Continues to Work on AirPower-Like Charging Mat With A11 Chip to Prevent Overheating [Update: Images Fake]

Thursday June 18, 2020 7:41 am PDT by
Apple continues to work on an AirPower-like wireless charging mat that would be able to charge multiple devices at once, according to leaker Jon Prosser, who shared photos of an alleged prototype codenamed "C68" today. The mat shown in the photo looks identical to the AirPower mat that Apple previewed in 2017, planned to release in 2018, but canceled in 2019. Prosser previously said that...

Rumor Claims 'AirPower Isn't Dead' After Ming-Chi Kuo Says Apple Working on 'Smaller Wireless Charging Mat'

Sunday March 22, 2020 8:02 pm PDT by
Nearly a year after canceling its AirPower wireless charging mat, Apple has resumed development of the project, according to YouTuber and leaker Jon Prosser. However, there is no guarantee that the accessory will ever be released. Prosser claims that Apple engineers are attempting to redesign the mat's charging coils to displace heat more effectively, adding that prototyping is underway....

Mophie Working on AirPower Replacement Able to Wirelessly Charge Multiple Devices Regardless of Position

Tuesday January 7, 2020 1:37 pm PST by
Mophie parent company Zagg at CES told Bloomberg that it is developing a wireless charging mat that has capabilities that Apple attempted to implement in the now-canceled AirPower, but was unable to make work. The charging accessory will charge iPhones and other mobile devices regardless of where they are placed on the charging mat, a feature that the AirPower was supposed to have. Apple's ...

ZENS AirPower-Like Liberty Wireless Charger With 16 Coils Now Available to Order

Friday January 3, 2020 2:34 am PST by
Dutch brand ZENS today announced the availability of its AirPower-like wireless charging mat with 16 overlapping coils, allowing two devices to be charged anywhere on the mat. The ZENS Liberty can charge any Qi-enabled devices, with the 16 coils providing a total output of 30W (2x15W) as well as supporting Apple and Samsung Fast Charge. Meanwhile, the built-in 2.4A USB port can be used to...

ZENS Unveils AirPower-Like Wireless Charger With 16 Coils to Charge Two Devices Anywhere on Mat

Friday August 23, 2019 7:57 am PDT by
Dutch brand ZENS today unveiled a wireless charging mat with 16 overlapping coils, allowing two devices to be charged anywhere on the mat. The ZENS Liberty will be able to charge any Qi-enabled devices, with the 16 coils providing a total output of 30W, while a built-in 2.4A USB port will be able to charge an additional device. Designed with high-grade aluminum, the mat will be powered by a ...

Apple Officially Cancels AirPower

Friday March 29, 2019 12:18 pm PDT by
Apple today canceled AirPower, the charging mat that it first announced in 2017, because of an inability to meet its high standards for hardware, reports TechCrunch. AirPower was designed to charge the Apple Watch, iPhone, and AirPods all at once, but after Apple announced the device in 2017, there were persistent rumors of difficulties and no product ever launched. Apple says work on the...

AirPower Pictured on Retail Box for AirPods Wireless Charging Case

Monday March 25, 2019 2:54 pm PDT by
Another reference to AirPower was discovered on Monday, this time in relation to Apple's new AirPods range. The photo below was sent to MacRumors and shows Apple's long-delayed wireless charging mat on the back of the box for the new Wireless Charging Case for AirPods, which Apple announced last week. The image has since been verified by other Twitter users who have received their charging case...

AirPower to Launch in 'Late March' According to DigiTimes Sources

Friday March 22, 2019 4:49 am PDT by
Apple plans to release its long-awaited wireless charging mat AirPower in "late March" according to Taiwanese publication DigiTimes. We're in late March now, so if the report is accurate, then a release should be imminent. The report cites unnamed "industry sources" within Apple's supply chain:Lite-On Semiconductor, a maker of discrete and analog IC components, is expected to see its...

New AirPower Image With iPhone XS Appears Within Source Code on Apple's Website

Thursday March 21, 2019 7:44 am PDT by
Based on source code from the AirPods page of Apple's website in Australia, MacRumors has uncovered what appears to be a new image of the AirPower with an iPhone XS and the new AirPods wireless charging case on it, providing yet more evidence that Apple still plans to release the wireless charging mat at some point. Apple updated its AirPods page yesterday after unveiling a second-generation ...

WSJ Says Apple Approved Production of AirPower Earlier This Year as Previously Rumored

Wednesday March 20, 2019 8:59 am PDT by
The Wall Street Journal today reports that Apple approved production of its long-awaited wireless charging mat AirPower earlier this year after facing challenges with developing the accessory. This supports previous supply chain rumors. From the report:The company earlier this year approved production of a wireless-charging pad called AirPower, according to people familiar with the matter....

Roundup: AirPower Removed From AirPods Page, AirPods 3 Possibly 2020, iOS 12.2 Arrives Next Week, and More

Wednesday March 20, 2019 7:52 am PDT by
Apple today unveiled second-generation AirPods with a new H1 chip that enables hands-free Siri and up to an extra hour of talk time, and there are a handful of details worth mentioning surrounding the announcement. Apple removed this AirPower image from its AirPods page today Five thoughts:The new AirPods require iOS 12.2, watchOS 5.2, or macOS 10.14.4 and later, which are all currently in...

Code in Latest iOS 12.2 Beta Suggests AirPower Launch Coming Soon

Tuesday March 19, 2019 9:54 am PDT by
Apple's long-awaited AirPower could be launching in the near future, based on coding changes that 9to5Mac's Guilherme Rambo says he found in the latest iOS 12.2 beta, released yesterday morning. There have been "significant changes" to the wireless charging code in the beta update, including "code responsible for identifying that two devices are charging on the same mat," which could indicate...

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

Tuesday February 19, 2019 8:42 am PST by
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. Many current inductive charging mats require precisely aligning a smartphone or other device...

16-Inch MacBook Pro, 6K Apple Display, AirPower, AirPods 2 and More Predicted for 2019 [Video]

Monday February 18, 2019 2:50 pm PST by
Last night, we saw the release of a extensive research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who laid out his timeline for product releases from Apple in the coming year. MacRumors videographer Dan Barbera recaps Kuo's predictions in this video which covers an extensive range of products including an all new 16" MacBook Pro, 6K Apple Display and much more. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel ...

AirPower and New AirPods Said to Ship in First Half of 2019, New iPod Touch With Faster Processor Also Expected

Sunday February 17, 2019 5:10 pm PST by
Apple's long-awaited AirPower wireless charging mat and a new version of AirPods with wireless charging support and upgraded Bluetooth connectivity will start shipping in the first half of 2019, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo also expects a new iPod touch with a faster processor to launch in 2019. While there's been a flurry of recent rumors about the AirPower and 2nd generation...

Sketchy Rumor Claims AirPods 2, AirPower and New iPads to Launch on March 29

Tuesday February 12, 2019 1:08 am PST by
Apple plans to hold a product event in the second half of March where it will officially announce second-generation AirPods, the AirPower wireless charging pad, a new affordable iPad and the so-called "iPad mini 5", according to the latest rumor. The claim comes courtesy of Greek tech news site iphonehellas.gr [Google Translate], which says it has received "exclusive information" from "a...

AirPods 2 With Grip Coating and AirPower Said to Launch This Spring

Monday February 11, 2019 1:06 am PST by
Apple's forthcoming second-generation AirPods will feature a new design and improved audio performance, while its AirPower wireless charging pad will launch in the Spring, a new report claims today. Rumor site MySmartPrice said one of its "trusted sources" claims the AirPods 2, tipped for release this year, will offer better bass response thanks to improved internals, and both the earbuds...

AirPower to Launch 'Later in 2019' According to DigiTimes

Monday January 21, 2019 7:33 pm PST by
Apple's long-awaited wireless charging mat AirPower has entered production and will be released later this year, according to DigiTimes:Glass passivated package (GPP) bridge rectifier orders for Apple's AirPower continue to pull in, according to sources at related suppliers, who expect shipments for the wireless charger to boost further when it becomes available later in 2019. Apple's AirPower ...

AirPower Referenced in iPhone XS Smart Battery Case Description in Malaysia [Removed]

Wednesday January 16, 2019 4:10 am PST by
As discovered by MacRumors tipster Sri Ram and others on Twitter, Apple has referenced its long-awaited AirPower charging mat in the product description for its new iPhone XS Smart Battery Case in Malaysia. Apple released Smart Battery Cases for the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR on Tuesday following several rumors. The listing remains live as of Wednesday morning, noting that...