- AirPower was unveiled last year with availability pegged for next year
- The product has met with several engineering issues since then
- Issues with overheating, software, and coil placements are reported
The AirPower wireless charging mat was unveiled at Apple’s iPhone event last year, with the availability pegged for 2018. The year is almost coming to an end, with Apple’s iPhone event for this year also done and dusted with. However, there has been no mention of the AirPower whatsoever. Now, famed tipster Sonny Dickson is out with a new report claiming three broad reasons for the delay of the AirPower. He notes that overheating, buggy inter-device communication, and mechanical and interference issues have been the main reasons for delay. In his report, he also states that unless Apple makes significant advancements, the AirPower may be doomed for failure, and currently it’s not viable for the market at all. The name and trademark may be applied to a new product, Dickson opines.
Dickson reports, citing multiple internal sources, that Apple’s AirPower currently produces a lot of heat. This hinders charging performance and may also cause the device that is being charged to get too warm, and can affect the performance of that device as well. This heating issue also affects Apple’s Apple’s custom charging chip, which runs a stripped down version of iOS, causing it not function properly. Apart from this, there have been hardware and software issues of communication between the AirPower and the devices placed on the mat. The report states that the problem is especially between “the communication of Apple Watch and AirPod charging data to the iPhone, which monitors the charge level of all devices placed on the mat.”
Lastly, the main issue is regarding the 21 and 24 power coils of various sizes built inside the AirPower to charge the three products – AirPods charging case, iPhone, and Apple Watch- simultaneously. These coils are reportedly proving to be difficult to build or refine, and this “has been resulting in a significant amount of interference up to this point, which reduces the efficiency of the charging mat, and contributes to the heat issues that engineers are facing.” The engineers are having a tough time trying to fit these varied-sized coils into a compact design, and then managing interference and heat issues.
The report further states, “Aside from heat and interference shielding, the complexity of the circuitry in the device is also posing a significant challenge, which likely cannot be overcome unless the device is redesigned to be slightly thicker and larger – decisions which Apple is specifically unwilling to make compromises on for their overall design.”
Apple is rumoured to have gone back to the drawing board with the AirPower, and the charging mat may not see a launch very soon. The company has also removed all mentions of the AirPower from its website, lending more weight to the claim of its demise or a prolonged delay.
“While it is still – possible – for the AirPower, or a similar device not yet shown to the public, to debut before the end of the year, broad consensus among engineers suggests that this is highly unlikely. Chatter from less notable individuals involved with the project further suggest that the AirPower concept and trademark are likely to be applied to an all new product, which will include unmentioned features, to be publicly shown at an undisclosed date ‘not likely to occur before Spring,'” concluded Dickson.
Similarly, developer and long-time Apple watcher John Gruber said that his sources claim that the AirPower “really is well and truly f*ed.” His sources also state the same multi-coil design to be the reason for the product getting too hot, and that a redesign was the only way for Apple to ever release a wireless charging mat in the market without overheating issues.
Apple is expected to host an event in October for the new iPad Pro models, and that would be our last shred of hope from Apple, to keep its promise of a 2018 launch of the AirPower.