- Apple made no mention of its wireless charging mat AirPower at its annual iPhone event, which it first previewed one year ago.
- Some tech commentators are speculating that the development of AirPower is behind schedule, and linked this to Apple’s acquisition of charging startup PowerbyProxi.
- Bloomberg reported in Junethat Apple engineers were coming up against problems developing AirPower, including overheating.
- It’s a rare blooper for Apple, which is famously obsessive about perfecting the design of products before release.
Apple fans waiting to hear about the company’s futuristic wireless charging mat will have been disappointed on Wednesday, as the AirPower charger did not get a single mention at Apple’s annual iPhone launch event.
Apple previewed AirPower last year, showing a flat pad that could wirelessly charge multiple devices at once, such as an Apple Watch, iPhone, and AirPods case. But there was, surprisingly, no mention of the mat in Cupertino on Wednesday.
Now commentators are speculating that Apple has experienced some kind of setback. 9to5Mac reported that most mentions of AirPower have been scrubbed from Apple’s website. According to 9to5Mac, the product page for last year’s iPhone X mentioned AirPower and a release date of some time in 2018. Since the iPhone X itself has been discontinued, there’s no longer any mention of AirPower.
Tech blogger and well-known Apple watcher John Gruberalso weighed in, noting that he could find a picture of an AirPower mat, but no mention of the product itself on Apple’s site. “No one from Apple I’ve spoken to today will say a word about AirPower other than that they have nothing to say about it today. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s been scrapped, and they just don’t want to say so yet,” he wrote on Wednesday.
AirPower must be well and truly fucked. No one at Apple will say a word about it, even off the record. And as a result they didn’t even mention inductive charging during the event, even though the XS and XR both charge faster than the X.
— John Gruber (@gruber)September 12, 2018
Forrester analyst Thomas Husson told Business Insider he would be surprised if Apple had scrapped AirPower altogether.
“Given the importance of the battery life for the Apple Watch, it would have been a nice way to sell accessories to consumers who own multiple Apple devices and create a continuum of experiences across the product portfolio,” he said.
“I would assume this is still the plan and that is only a matter of months before we know more details and see an official product launch.”
Apple announced in September last yearthat it would release AirPower in 2018, but speculation about the precise release date has varied. Shortly afterwards it was confirmed that Apple had bought wireless charging company PowerbyProxi in order to “help create a wireless future,” according to Apple’s senior vice president of hardware engineering Dan Riccio.
The wireless future seems to have stalled however, as Bloomberg reported in Junethat engineers were struggling to stop the mats from overheating. The same report suggested that AirPower would be released in September.
Business Insider contacted Apple for comment.