Apple Allegedly Continues to Work on AirPower-Like Charging Mat With A11 Chip to Prevent Overheating

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 Apple was facing issues with Apple Watch charging, but it has apparently overcome that problem, with both an Apple Watch and AirPods Pro case shown charging on the mat.


Apple revealed its plans for the AirPower mat at its iPhone X event in September 2017. The key feature of the mat is that it would have been able to charge a compatible iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods case simultaneously, regardless of each device's position on the mat, and it also would have offered deep integration with iOS.

Apple canceled the AirPower in March 2019, noting that the mat failed to meet its high standards, without diving into specifics. Thanks to patents, we do know that the AirPower was equipped with several overlapping coils inside, and leaker Sonny Dickson previously indicated that one of the primary issues with the mat was overheating.

A few months ago, Prosser claimed that Apple has addressed overheating with its latest wireless charging mat prototypes by reducing the number of coils and integrating an A11 chip that can dynamically manage heat. Prosser added that the mat could be released between the fourth quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021 if testing is successful.


In January, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo forecasted that one of Apple's major new hardware products in the first half of 2020 would include a "smaller wireless charging mat," but this is believed to be a single-device solution. That mat could be announced at WWDC 2020 next week, but it is quite possible that timing has changed due to the global health crisis.
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Rumor Claims ‘AirPower Isn’t Dead’ After Ming-Chi Kuo Says Apple Working on ‘Smaller Wireless Charging Mat’

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. Apple only said that the AirPower failed to achieve its high standards, but rumors suggested that the mat experienced issues with heat management and interference.

AirPower would have been able to charge an iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods case simultaneously, regardless of each device's position on the mat. The battery percentage of each device would have shown up on the iPhone's lock screen while charging.


Apple first previewed the ‌AirPower‌ in September 2017 at Steve Jobs Theater, shortly after introducing the iPhone X, and said that it would be released by the end of 2018. Apple failed to deliver on that promise and ultimately canceled the mat in March 2019. At the time, Apple said it remained "committed to push the wireless experience forward."

Prosser has shared accurate Google leaks in the past, but he has only recently pushed more into Apple rumors, so his track record is limited on that front.

A few months ago, well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo forecasted that one of Apple's major new hardware products in the first half of 2020 would include a "smaller wireless charging mat," but he did not provide any further details and that timeframe may have changed due to the ongoing pandemic. It is unclear if the mat would have AirPower branding.
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Mophie Working on AirPower Replacement Able to Wirelessly Charge Multiple Devices Regardless of Position

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 canceled ‌AirPower‌

It's not clear if the charging mat that Zagg is developing will be able to charge the Apple Watch or if it will be limited to Qi-based wireless charging. Apple wanted the ‌AirPower‌ to be able to charge the ‌Apple Watch‌, iPhone, and AirPods, but had trouble implementing the overlapping charging coils that were necessary.

There are multi-device chargers on the market able to charge the ‌iPhone‌, ‌AirPods‌, and ‌Apple Watch‌ at once, but each device must be placed in a specific spot on the charger. Zagg's solution would apparently work anywhere, and will be marketed under the Mophie brand.

Some current charging mats from Mophie

Unless the wireless charger Zagg is working on works with the ‌iPhone‌, ‌Apple Watch‌, and ‌AirPods‌, it won't quite match what the ‌AirPower‌ was supposed to do, but multi-device charging regardless of position is still a challenge even when limited to Qi-based wireless charging devices.

Zagg marketing executive Brad Bell told Bloomberg that the company is pitching the charging device to retailers and gathering feedback, so it's not clear when this charging device might see a debut. There's also no word on what it might look like, though it could be a flat charging mat similar to the ‌AirPower‌.

Zagg is also working on long distance charging that would charge devices from several feet away, but that charging technology is still "many years away."


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

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 charge another device, including an Apple Watch using the optional Apple Watch USB-stick accessory.
The 16 overlapping charging coils give complete freedom of placement, allowing you to place two devices anywhere on the charging pad. For those who were wondering why the USB-port of the Liberty is placed on the top side of the charging pad, the ‌Apple Watch‌ USB-stick is the reason why. This add-on is specifically made for the Liberty so you can simultaneously charge an iPhone, AirPods and an ‌Apple Watch‌ with the Liberty, the ideal 3-in-1 wireless charger!
The USB-stick is made of the same aluminum as the Liberty and is placed in a vertical position in the USB-port of the Liberty to charge the ‌Apple Watch‌ in sleep-mode. The stick can also be connected to any USB-A-port to charge an ‌Apple Watch‌ without the mat. The USB-stick is officially MFi certified and works with ‌Apple Watch‌ Series 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.


The ZENS Liberty has a USB-C connection and comes with a 60W USB-C certified power adapter. Separate power plugs for the E.U., U.K. and U.S. are included to make the adapter suitable for global usage.

The mat is available either with a surface of high-quality woolen upholstery textile (Atlas by Kvadrat) or with a tempered glass surface revealing the overlapping coils within. The fabric version costs $139.99 (€139.99), while the Glass edition costs $179.99 (€179.99). Both models come with a three-year extended warranty. The Apple Watch USB-add-on is available separately for $39.99 (€39.99).


This is the closest alternative to Apple's canceled AirPower mat, which would have been able to charge three devices placed anywhere on the mat, including an ‌iPhone‌, ‌Apple Watch‌, and ‌AirPods‌.

Apple canceled the ‌AirPower‌ in March 2019, stating that "after much effort," the mat failed to achieve the company's "high standards." An earlier report from Sonny Dickson claimed the ‌‌AirPower‌‌ would have been equipped with 21 to 24 coils, but reports claimed the mat suffered from overheating and potentially dangerous electromagnetic interference issues.

Expect a full review of the ZENS Liberty Wireless Charger on MacRumors soon.

Tags: ZENS, AirPower

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

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 45W power adapter that connects via USB-C.


Other wireless charging mats released to date have fewer coils, resulting in devices needing to be placed in specific spots on the mat to charge.

This is the closest alternative we have ever seen to Apple's canceled AirPower mat, which would have been able to charge three devices placed anywhere on the mat, including an iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods. Of course, the ZENS mat will not have the same level of software integration with Apple devices.


Apple canceled the AirPower in March, noting that "after much effort," the mat failed to achieve its "high standards." An earlier report from Sonny Dickson claimed the AirPower would have been equipped with 21 to 24 coils, but reports claimed the mat suffered from overheating and potentially dangerous electromagnetic interference issues.

ZENS says the mat will be available in November for $139.99, with a limited edition version with see-through glass set to be offered for $179.99.

Tags: ZENS, AirPower

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Apple Officially Cancels AirPower

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 product has been canceled entirely because the company has been unable to achieve what it was aiming for with the AirPower.

"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," said Dan Riccio, Apple's senior vice president of Hardware Engineering in a statement provided to TechCrunch.

AirPower was introduced in September 2017 alongside the iPhone X, and at the time, Apple said it would launch in 2018. 2018 came and went with no sign of AirPower and no word from Apple on when it would materialize.

There were, however, continual rumors of production, engineering, and manufacturing difficulties. Rumors suggested that there were problems with heat management, inter-device communication, and interference because Apple wanted to design a charging device where you could put an iPhone, Apple Watch, or AirPods anywhere on the mat to charge.

This required layering multiple charging coils, resulting in a device that ran too hot, which turned out to be an engineering issue Apple couldn't solve.

AirPower was supposed to work with the Wireless Charging Case for the AirPods that was released last week, and it was also meant to charge Apple Watch Series 3 and 4 models and all iPhones that support Qi-based wireless charging. With Apple having released the AirPods Charging Case just recently, there was speculation that an AirPower launch was imminent.

The cancelation of AirPower comes as a shock as there have been continual signs that the product was still in the works. AirPower mentions were still included on the newly launched AirPods Charging Case, and Apple recently secured a trademark for the AirPower name. There have also been ongoing rumors of a spring launch, so it appears that Apple worked for months on AirPower solutions before ultimately deciding to nix the project.

Ending work on a project that was already announced and shown off is unprecedented in Apple's recent history.


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AirPower Pictured on Retail Box for AirPods Wireless Charging Case

AirPower appears to be closer to launch than ever with Apple showing a diagram on the retail box of the newly launched AirPods Wireless Charging Case. The photo was sent to MacRumors this morning and appears shows Apple's long-delayed wireless charging mat referenced on the packaging of the new Wireless Charging Case for AirPods, which Apple announced last week. The image has since been verified with another report.


The back of the box clearly shows the distinct pill-shaped outline of the AirPower charging mat externally powered by what appears to be a USB-C or Lightning cable, indicating that the yet-to-be-released device can be used to charge AirPods using the wireless-compatible charging case.

Apple launched its new second-generation AirPods on Wednesday, and customers who ordered them on the same day are expecting deliveries between March 26-27. The new AirPods are available with a wired charging case for $159 or with a Wireless Charging Case for $199. Apple is also selling the Wireless Charging Case separately for $79, so that existing owners of first-generation AirPods can charge their earbuds wirelessly using Qi-compatible charging mats. The new AirPods will be available at Apple Stores and select resellers later this week.

Last week, MacRumors uncovered what appears to be a new Apple product image of the AirPower with an iPhone XS and the new AirPods with Wireless Charging Case on it. MacRumors has also uncovered evidence to suggest that Apple has secured the rights to the AirPower trademark in the United States.

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple approved production of the AirPower earlier this year, and reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said the AirPower will be released within the first half of 2019. According to Taiwanese publication DigiTimes, Apple plans to release its long-awaited wireless charging mat AirPower in "late March."

AirPower is designed to charge multiple Apple devices at once, including the iPhone 8 and newer, Apple Watch Series 3 and newer, and AirPods when they are placed in the new optional wireless charging case.

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AirPower to Launch in ‘Late March’ According to DigiTimes Sources

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 second-quarter revenues register a double-digit sequential growth as it will soon kick off volume shipments of GPP (glass passivated package) bridge rectifiers needed for Apple's wireless charger AirPower, according to industry sources.

The sources said that Apple's AirPower wireless charger for iPhones, Apple Watch and AirPods is set to be officially launched in late March, which will significantly drive up Lite-On's revenues for the second quarter of 2019.
There are 10 days remaining in March including today.

DigiTimes has a mixed track record when it comes to predicting the timing of Apple product releases. While the publication has sources within Apple's suppliers in Asia, particularly in Taiwan, supply chain sources are typically more privy to what is coming rather than when. In short, we'll see.

There is certainly increasing evidence pointing towards an upcoming release.

Yesterday, after receiving a tip from reader Michael Bateman, MacRumors uncovered what appears to be a new image of the AirPower with an iPhone XS and the new AirPods wireless charging case on it.


MacRumors also uncovered evidence to suggest that Apple has secured the rights to the AirPower trademark in the United States.

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple approved production of the AirPower earlier this year, and reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said the AirPower will be released within the first half of 2019.

AirPower is designed to charge multiple Apple devices at once, including the iPhone 8 and newer, Apple Watch Series 3 and newer, and AirPods when they are placed in the new optional wireless charging case introduced on Wednesday.

Apple introduced new iPads on Monday, new iMacs on Tuesday, and new AirPods on Wednesday of this week.


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

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 pair, and this image was intended to showcase the new optional wireless charging case on a Qi-enabled charging mat, but Apple never ended up featuring the image publicly. We found it hidden within a CSS stylesheet.

A similar AirPower image with an older iPhone X was removed from the AirPods page yesterday after the wireless AirPods charging case was announced:


While the AirPower might still be coming after all, a specific release date remains unclear. The Wall Street Journal yesterday reported that Apple approved production of the AirPower earlier this year and reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently said the AirPower will be released within the first half of 2019.

There was some hope that Apple would announce the AirPower today after announcing new iPads on Monday, new iMacs on Tuesday, and new AirPods on Wednesday, but that never materialized. We also didn't get a new iPod touch, although Kuo and other sources have indicated that one is coming at some point this year.

Thanks to Michael Bateman for tipping MacRumors.


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

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. It had announced the product in late 2017.

AirPower, which would allow users to charge the new AirPods and an iPhone simultaneously, has been delayed by product-development challenges, the people said. Apple typically announces new products within months of beginning production.
Last month, reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said the AirPower will launch in the first half of 2019 alongside new AirPods, which were announced today, but a specific release date is unclear. Kuo also expects a new iPod touch with a faster processor in the first half of this year, but there has been no sign of one so far this week.

Apple has announced new iPads on Monday, new iMacs on Tuesday, and new AirPods on Wednesday of this week, so it is possible the AirPower could follow on Thursday or Friday, but no reliable rumors have indicated that will be the case.

Apple initially said the AirPower would be released in 2018, but the year came and went without a release, and the company hasn't said a word about the mat in many months. Apple removed the last remaining reference to the AirPower on its website, a photo of the mat, from its AirPods page earlier today.


Apple is holding a media event on March 25 at Steve Jobs Theater, where it is widely expected to unveil news and streaming video services, but this week's product announcements suggest the event might not see much if any hardware on stage.

AirPower is designed to charge multiple Apple devices at once, including the iPhone 8 and newer, Apple Watch Series 3 and newer, and AirPods when they are placed in the new optional wireless charging case introduced today.


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