Apple's AirPower wireless charging mat may not be dead after all

Apple AirPower wireless charging mat shelvedApple Press Note (screen-grab)
Apple AirPower wireless charging mat shelved Apple Press Note screen-grab

A single wireless charging pad that could charge all three of Apple's wireless charging compatible devices – the iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods – at one go and one that was made by Apple itself was the dream wireless charger that Apple fans had been waiting for. But that was until Apple killed the ambitious idea in March last year.

However, Apple's AirPower wireless charging mat, as it came to be known may not be dead after all as exactly a year after the accessory was scrapped, a new leak suggests Apple could have resumed work on the AirPower charging mat once again.

Apple's trying to bring the AirPower may from the dead

According to a MacRumors report, reliable YouTube leaker Jon Prosser has tweeted that Apple's AirPower project is back on track, suggesting that Apple hasn't given up on the AirPower yet. However, he doesn't seem to guarantee that the company will finalize and release the accessory. He also doesn't mention how long Apple has been working on the project, but suggests that it is prototyping designs.

Prosser also claims that Apple engineers are trying to redesign the AirPower mat's charging coils to displace heat more effectively, which was one of the problems with the original design. He gives his sources a 5 out of 5 toilet paper rolls rating, which suggests that the information he has got hold of is 100 per cent accurate.

What went wrong with the original AirPower

Apple had said the reason it didn't launch the AirPower mat was because it failed to achieve its high standards, but as various reports and experts later suggested, the actual reason for Apple's scrapping of the AirDrop at the last minute was because the mat was experiencing issues with heat management and interference. Apparently, the original AirPower mat design was generating a lot of heat which could potentially damage the device charging over it, and Apple obviously didn't want this to happen.

Apple's vision for the AirPower charging mat was a single wireless charger that would be able to change an iPhone 8 or older, the Apple Watch, and the AirPods with wireless charging case simultaneously, regardless of their position on the mat. Since it would be a part of the Apple ecosystem, it will be well integrated with all the devices it is connected to, showing the battery percentage of each device it is charging on the iPhone's lock screen.

Present prototypes are still far from perfect

In a follow-up tweet, Prosser suggests that none of the prototypes that Apple has been working on seem to work with the Apple Watch, which could be the company's biggest concern and the biggest roadblock that is keeping the AirPower charging mat from hitting store shelves. He also claims that Apple won't release the product until it gets a prototype that works with the Apple Watch.

This particular issue seems quite plausible since most alternative mats that are currently available only charge two devices at a time, though there are a few that can even charge three.

A few months ago, renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggested that one of Apple's major hardware launches coming in the first half of 2020 will include a "smaller charging mat," though he did not mention whether it would be the AirPower wireless charger.

Apple's failed attempt at a wireless charger

Apple had first showcased the AirPower back in September 2017 alongside the launch of the iPhone X. At the time it said the intriguing accessory would be released by the end of 2018. However, Apple did not launch it by the scheduled time, remaining mum about the product as if it never happened. The company finally announced that it had cancelled the mat in March 2019, stating that it did not meet its high standards, but it said it remains "committed to push the wireless experience forward."