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.

Related Roundup: AirPods 2
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Buy Now)

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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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Roundup: AirPower Removed From AirPods Page, iOS 12.2 Arrives Next Week, and More

Apple today unveiled second-generation AirPods with a new H1 chip that enables hands-free Siri and up to an extra hour of talk time, and there are a handful of details worth mentioning surrounding the announcement.

Apple removed this AirPower image from its AirPods page today

Five thoughts:
  • The new AirPods require iOS 12.2, watchOS 5.2, or macOS 10.14.4 and later, which are all currently in beta testing. With the new AirPods arriving to customers early next week, this means the software updates should be publicly released on or around March 25 event day.
  • Apple removed an image of its AirPower wireless charging mat from its AirPods page today. However, many sources believe the AirPower is coming soon. Apple announced new iPads on Monday, new iMacs on Tuesday, and new AirPods on Wednesday, so it is possible the AirPower could follow on Thursday or Friday, but no reliable rumors have indicated that will be the case.
  • Apple has discontinued the original AirPods. The new lineup includes the second-generation AirPods paired with either a wired charging case for $159 or with a wireless charging case for $199. The wireless case is also sold separately for $79 and is compatible with the original AirPods.
  • According to Mark Gurman, these AirPods were initially planned to go on sale last year. As he has previously reported, Gurman says Apple is working on a subsequent pair of AirPods with noise cancellation and water resistance that were originally planned for release later this year, but he now speculates that they could arrive in 2020.
  • MacRumors received a tip earlier this month claiming that Apple would announce new iPads, iMacs, and iPods on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of this week, and while most of this information proved to be accurate, new AirPods ended up arriving on Wednesday instead of a new iPod touch. Multiple sources still expect a new iPod touch, but announcement timing is unclear.
For more details about the new AirPods, read our earlier coverage of the announcement.

Related Roundups: iOS 12, AirPods 2
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Buy Now)

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Code in Latest iOS 12.2 Beta Suggests AirPower Launch Coming Soon

Apple's long-awaited AirPower could be launching in the near future, based on coding changes that 9to5Mac's Guilherme Rambo says he found in the latest iOS 12.2 beta, released yesterday morning.

There have been "significant changes" to the wireless charging code in the beta update, including "code responsible for identifying that two devices are charging on the same mat," which could indicate that Apple is planning an AirPower launch soon.


Apple's AirPower charging mat will be able to charge an iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods (with a new wireless charging case) all at once. The AirPower charging mat was first announced in 2017 alongside the iPhone X, but has seen production difficulties that led to multiple delays.

In the iOS 12.2 beta specifically, there are changes to the 3D animations that are displayed on the largest of the charging devices to let you know charging levels.

Apple has been silent on the AirPower ever since announcing it, but there have been continual signs that the Cupertino company is still working on it, including multiple recent rumors that a launch is happening in the spring.

Apple on Monday introduced a new iPad Air and an iPad mini 5, and today introduced refreshed iMacs, suggesting it is perhaps aiming to roll out all of its spring hardware updates ahead of its services-focused event on March 25.

Ahead of when the iPads and iMacs launched, we heard from a source that suggested Apple would debut new products on Monday through Wednesday, with a new iPod touch set to be announced tomorrow. We haven't heard word of an AirPower launch or an AirPods launch with new wireless charging case, but that doesn't mean it's not going to happen.

There's a chance we will see AirPower and AirPods this week, but if not, it certainly seems like we're at least a bit closer to a debut.


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Apple Wins Patent on Long-Delayed AirPods Wireless Charging Case and AirPower

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today published a newly granted Apple patent related to an "inductively chargeable earbud case." While the AirPods and AirPower are not named in the patent, the illustrations clearly show an AirPods-like wireless charging case on an AirPower-like charging mat.


Many current inductive charging mats require precisely aligning a smartphone or other device with the coils inside the mat for the most efficient power transfer. As noted by AppleInsider, however, Apple's patent describes a method that would allow the AirPods case to be placed anywhere on the AirPower.
Apple's solution is to use a pair of small charging coils in the case, occupying the bottom left and right hand corners of the rear section, typically the side that would make contact with a charging pad. Both coils would be capable of receiving a charge from a charging pad, effectively doubling its chances of being in an optimal charging position.
This is just one of many patents Apple has been grated for an AirPods-like wireless charging case.

Apple first previewed the AirPower and optional AirPods wireless charging case at its September 2017 event. At the time, Apple promised that the AirPower was coming in 2018, but the year came and went without any release.


Last year, a report suggested that Apple faced technical difficulties with the AirPower that likely delayed its release. Recent reports claim that Apple has since overcome those issues and instructed its suppliers to begin mass production of the AirPower, with several rumors hinting at an imminent release.

Just a few days ago, for example, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said the AirPower and AirPods case will launch in the first half of 2019.

Multiple sources claim Apple will host a special event at Steve Jobs Theater on Monday, March 25, but Apple's widely expected subscription-based news and video services are expected to be the focus of the keynote. By the sounds of it, there may be few to no hardware announcements at the event.

AirPower already had stage time, so a press release could be appropriate for its release, potentially alongside embargoed reviews. Rumored updates to the iPad, iPad mini, and iPod touch also sound minor, with few changes expected beyond faster processors and a slightly larger screen for the 9.7-inch iPad, so they could be press release worthy too.

Related Roundup: AirPods 2
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Caution)

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16-Inch MacBook Pro, 6K Apple Display, AirPower, AirPods 2 and More Predicted for 2019 [Video]

Last night, we saw the release of a extensive research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who laid out his timeline for product releases from Apple in the coming year. MacRumors videographer Dan Barbera recaps Kuo's predictions in this video which covers an extensive range of products including an all new 16" MacBook Pro, 6K Apple Display and much more.


Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

Kuo is well regarded in the rumor community due to a very good track record at predicting Apple's products. Kuo gathers intelligence from his contacts in Apple's Asian supply chain, translating the information he gleans into research notes for clients.

Our Coverage

We've updated our Upcoming Apple Products Guide based on this new information.


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AirPower and New AirPods Said to Ship in First Half of 2019, New iPod Touch With Faster Processor Also Expected

Apple's long-awaited AirPower wireless charging mat and a new version of AirPods with wireless charging support and upgraded Bluetooth connectivity will start shipping in the first half of 2019, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.


Kuo also expects a new iPod touch with a faster processor to launch in 2019.

While there's been a flurry of recent rumors about the AirPower and 2nd generation AirPods, there have also been conflicting reports on the possible launch dates for the two products. One recent report specifically placed the launch of the new AirPods in the fall of 2019. We were skeptical about that report at the time, and now Kuo gives another reason to believe that the new AirPods and AirPower will be shipping in the first half of this year.

Related Roundups: iPod touch, AirPods 2

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