AirPower: Everything We Know

What is AirPower?


AirPower is an Apple-designed charging mat designed to charge Qi-based iPhones, the Apple Watch, and the AirPods, using a specially designed and as-of-yet unreleased wireless compatible AirPods Charging Case.

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


It's designed so that you can place an iPhone, AirPods, or Apple watch on any portion of the mat to have the device charge, which means multiple overlapping chargers must be included.

The AirPower mat is 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 has been quiet on the reason why, rumors have 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 has been 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 have been consistent mentions in 2018 iPhone packaging.

Apple doesn't appear to have given up on the AirPower, and new information even suggests a launch could be on the horizon.

When Will AirPower 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.

The end of 2018 has come and gone, and Apple has given no further official info on when the AirPower will debut.

A recent rumor from Apple's supply chain in China has suggested the manufacturing issues have been solved. The AirPower is said to be entering mass production on January 21, with Apple planning to release it sometime soon.

What "soon" means is unclear, but if mass production is beginning in late January, Apple could be targeting February as a potential launch month. DigiTimes believes it will come "later in 2019." Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who often accurately predicts Apple's plans, believes the AirPower will launch in the first half of 2019.

What Will AirPower Cost?


Apple never announced pricing for the AirPower, but there have been 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 are particularly reliable, but we think it's 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 Will Work With AirPower?


  • iPhone - All Qi-compatible iPhones will 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 will require a special wireless AirPods Charging Case, which is not yet available and will presumably launch alongside the AirPower.
  • Apple Watch - AirPower will work with the Apple Watch Series 3 and later. It is not 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, indicating work on the device is still underway.


In October, 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 has also been mentioned in the product description for the recently released Smart Battery Case in some countries, and DigiTimes recently said it's still coming "later in 2019."

MySmartPrice, a site with a mixed track record when it comes to rumors, says that Apple's AirPower will be thicker than expected due to an 8-7-7 coil configuration and that it will launch in spring 2019. Apple is holding a March 25 event, but it's expected to be focused on services and not hardware.

If Apple plans to launch the AirPower during the spring, its availability may be announced via press release rather than at an event.



Top Rated Comments

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5 weeks ago
...so you’re telling me there’s a chance?!
Rating: 8 Votes
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5 weeks ago
Based on the pricing of the battery cases released today, it’d be delusional to think that Apple will price the AirPower reasonably.
Rating: 7 Votes
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5 weeks ago
What we know: It will be ridiculously priced at $199 ;)
Keep it.
Rating: 5 Votes
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5 weeks ago
I think in order for the Airpower to be successful, the price point has to be right. When you have all these other wireless chargers that are already on the market, a lot of consumers will purchase something sfor their iPhone only. But the unique factor being with Airpower that you can set a device anywhere to charge, I’m not sure that will sway the consumer to want to purchase if the Airpower is overpriced.
Rating: 4 Votes
Avatar
5 weeks ago
Apple hasn’t lost its way.

The AW series 4 is crushing it. AirPods are selling well and most AirPod owners are highly satisfied. HomePod had a rough launch, but it has improved a lot and people love the sound quality. The 2017 iPhone X and all the 2018 iPhones with their once ridiculed but now widely copied notch, mostly excellent FaceID, crazy powerful chips, and industry-leading cameras are rightly seen as being among the very best smart phones ever made.

Lastly, take iPad. For the high end of the market, Apple has an iPad Pro model that is ridiculously powerful and has arguably the best screen on any tablet or laptop, or close to it. For average users, Apple’s $329 iPad is super capable and works with Apple Pencil.

For people who like quality gear but aren’t able or willing to buy Apple’s top of the line stuff, Apple has options. The AW series 3 and iPhone 7/8 are extremely capable devices at (by Apple standards) affordable price points.

I agree with you that AirPower is a huge misfire and will almost certainly come out with a near ridiculous price. I won’t buy one.

But even if Apple vastly overestimated the market for a high priced multi device charging mat, and pulls AirPower after disappointing sales, Apple still has far more hits than misses imho.

What a complete embarrassment for Apple.

One of the World’s largest companies with more cash than most countries, and they miss their date by more than one year.

There’s no excuse! This is known technology. Nothing groundbreaking or new to the industry.

Apple has clearly lost their way. They’ve forgotten how to innovate...

Rating: 3 Votes
Avatar
5 weeks ago

Too many charging competitors...although thi has the ability to charge many at once....who cares.


It’s not just about that this can charge more devices at once, you can also set the device anywhere you want on the Airpower for it to charge versus having a direct contact point like other wireless chargers.
Rating: 3 Votes
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5 weeks ago
Too many charging competitors...although thi has the ability to charge many at once....who cares.
Rating: 3 Votes
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5 weeks ago

What a complete embarrassment for Apple.

One of the World’s largest companies with more cash than most countries, and they miss their date by more than one year.

There’s no excuse! This is known technology. Nothing groundbreaking or new to the industry.

Apple has clearly lost their way. They’ve forgotten how to in innovate...

It’s January, how in the world have you come to the conclusion they missed their deadline by an entire year?
Rating: 3 Votes
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5 weeks ago
It will still charge very slowly.

Your better off getting a fast charger and a long cable so you could use your phone while it’s charging without being glued to the nearest outlet.
Rating: 3 Votes
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5 weeks ago
I'm pretty sure the iPhone charges via hopes and dreams at this point.
Rating: 3 Votes
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