Nikkei Says AirPods Charging Case ‘Will Soon Be Able’ to Wirelessly Charge an iPhone

An upcoming version of the AirPods charging case will be able to wirelessly charge a compatible iPhone, according to Nikkei Asian Review, although proceed with skepticism, as there's a good chance the report is off the mark.


The first paragraph from Cheng Ting-Fang and Lauly Li, in a report titled "Apple to unveil iPhone wireless charging with AirPods":
Users of iPhones will soon be able to wirelessly charge their handsets using the charging case for Apple's popular AirPods wireless earphones, according to an industry source familiar with the plan.
The report claims the charging case could be available as soon as the end of this year, although the timeframe is subject to change.

The report adds:
The development would add to Apple's much-anticipated AirPower wireless charging mat, unveiled last year and due out soon, bringing chief designer Jony Ive's call in 2016 for a "truly wireless future" a step closer. Apple has previously said it is working on a wireless charging case for AirPods that could also be topped up with the AirPower pad, though it gave no further details.
It's not entirely clear if the report is referring to the same AirPods charging case that Apple previewed alongside the iPhone X last year. Apple said that optional accessory will be released in 2018 alongside its AirPower charging mat.

All in all, it's a rather strange report that inspires a lot of questions. Would a user hold or lay their iPhone against the AirPods charging case? The case's current floss-container-like design means that the iPhone would need to be precisely balanced on top of it, if not held together in your hands.

In addition, the AirPods case is and will likely remain too small to adequately charge the latest iPhones. The battery in the current case has a capacity of 398 mAh, roughly 14.6 percent of the iPhone X's battery capacity of 2,716 mAh, limiting its usefulness to emergency or must-have situations.

Is the report backwards? Is it possible some iPhones will be able to wirelessly transfer power to the AirPods charging case on the go? Or, more likely, is the report simply mistranslating the fact that the latest iPhones and the AirPods charging case will be compatible with the AirPower charging mat?

At this point, all we know for certain is that Apple will release both its AirPower charging mat and optional AirPods charging case later this year. According to the reliable Mark Gurman, Apple is aiming to release the AirPower by September, so there's a good chance it'll launch alongside the next iPhones.

Related Roundups: 2018 iPhones, AirPods
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Caution)

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Mark Gurman: Apple Aims to Release AirPower By September

Apple aims to release its multi-device AirPower charging mat "before or in September," after facing a handful of technical challenges with its hardware and software, according to well-connected reporter Mark Gurman.


An excerpt from his Bloomberg News story:
Apple didn't say when in 2018 it would release AirPower, but engineers hoped to launch the charger by June. The aim now is to put it on sale before or in September, according to one of the people. In recent months, some Apple engineers have ramped up testing of the device by using it as their charger at the office, another person said.
Apple first previewed the AirPower alongside the iPhone X in September 2017. At the time, the company's marketing chief Phil Schiller said it would be available in 2018, as reflected on Apple's website. Pricing has not been disclosed.

Gurman says Apple engineers initially hoped for a June launch, presumably at WWDC 2018, but noted the AirPower has been delayed due to technical challenges, including the potential for overheating, complex multi-device charging circuitry, and software bugs related to the accessory's on-board firmware.

AirPower is said to include a custom Apple chip running "a stripped down version of iOS" for power management and pairing with devices:
The AirPower charger is also more advanced than the current competition because it includes a custom Apple chip running a stripped down version of the iOS mobile operating system to conduct on-device power management and pairing with devices. Apple engineers have also been working to squash bugs related to the on-board firmware, according to the people familiar.
AirPower is an oval-shaped accessory that can inductively charge multiple Apple devices at once, including the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, and Apple Watch Series 3 models. It will also be able to charge AirPods when they are placed in a new, optional charging case set to launch alongside AirPower.

The mat's ability to charge multiple devices will be achieved with a propriety technology developed by Apple. Apple said it will work to have its technology become part of the universal Qi standard supported by the latest iPhones.

AirPower is another step towards Apple's goal of a wireless future. Gurman says Apple designers eventually hope to "remove most of the external ports and buttons on the iPhone," and notes Apple even considered removing wired charging iPhone X, but decided wireless charging was not yet fast enough.

Related Roundups: iPhone 8, iPhone X

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There’s Still No Sign of Apple’s AirPower Charging Mat

Where is the AirPower? That's the question on the minds of many Apple Watch and iPhone owners as yet another event passes by without a launch date for the accessory.

Apple executives made no mention of the AirPower on stage at this year's keynote, dashing hopes that a launch date for the device might come alongside the unveiling of iOS 12, macOS Mojave, tvOS 12, and watchOS 5. It's not a huge surprise, though, as WWDC is a developer focused conference that puts software first.

In past years, Apple has unveiled hardware, but this year's event was focused on software with the sole hardware product being a new Pride Apple Watch band.


It's now been almost nine months since the AirPower was first introduced in September alongside the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X. Apple at the time said the device would be released in 2018, and while that launch date hasn't expired, many figured it would be coming earlier in 2018 rather than later.

The AirPower is a unique Qi-based wireless charging accessory that's able to charge an iPhone (X, 8 or 8 Plus), an Apple Watch, and the AirPods (with a new Wireless Charging Case) all at once.

It's not clear why Apple's work on the AirPower is taking so long, but it could be due to the combination of different charging technologies in the device. The Apple Watch Series 3, for example, does not charge over Qi, so Apple needs to merge several wireless charging formats.

We don't know when Apple plans on releasing the AirPower, but at this point, it could be held back until September, launching alongside the new 2018 iPhones. It's also possible, though, that we'll get a surprise press release sometime this summer.

As was predicted, WWDC 2018 was entirely devoid of hardware with the exception of a single new Apple Watch band. Apple announced no new Macs or iPads, despite the fact that most of its Mac and iPad lineup is due for an update. All of these updates could come in September with the new iPhones, or Apple could elect to do another Mac and iPad-focused summer or fall event.

Related Roundup: WWDC 2018

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iPhone X Gets (RED) Leather Folio, But No Rumored Red or Gold Finish, While AirPower Wait Continues

In addition to the (PRODUCT)RED edition iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, Apple today introduced a (RED) leather folio for the iPhone X.


The folio, which looks more like burgundy in the render, will be available for $99 beginning tomorrow, Tuesday, April 10, from Apple.com, Apple Stores, and the Apple Store app in the United States and several other countries.

(RED) was founded in 2006 by U2 frontman Bono and activist Bobby Shriver to raise funds for The Global Fund, which helps people affected by HIV or AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria in eight African countries, including Ghana, Lesotho, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Kenya, and Zambia.

Apple makes an unspecified contribution to The Global Fund for every (RED) product it sells, raising over $160 million to date in the past 11-plus years.

No Red or Gold Finish



Over the past few weeks, rumors have suggested the (PRODUCT)RED finish may extend to the iPhone X, but it appears the color will be limited to the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. There's also no sign of a twice rumored Blush Gold finish.

AirPower Wait Continues


With the (PRODUCT)RED edition iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus debuting today, it was reasonable to assume that availability of Apple's new AirPower charging mat could also be announced. Alas, it appears more patience will be required.


Apple has only stated that AirPower will be available at some point in 2018. A trio of reports that pinpointed a March release date proved to be inaccurate.

One possibility is that the AirPower will merely show up on Apple's online store tomorrow alongside the red-colored iPhones, but this is purely speculation. It's very possible the AirPower simply isn't ready for an imminent release.

Related Roundup: iPhone X
Buyer's Guide: iPhone X (Neutral)

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Third Report Says Apple’s AirPower Charging Mat Will Launch in March

Apple's new AirPower inductive charging mat will be released by the end of March, according to Taiwanese website DigiTimes.


The report, citing industry sources, claims the AirPower will have a maximum charging performance of up to 29 watts, compared to 7.5 watts for single-device wireless charging pads like the Belkin Boost Up and the Mophie Wireless Charging Base for the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X.

Apple said the AirPower will be released in 2018, but it hasn't provided an exact release date or pricing. Apple blogs Mac Otakara and The Apple Post also reported that the charging mat will be released in March, which is a common month for Apple to introduce new products, including a new 9.7-inch iPad last year.

AirPower is an oval-shaped accessory that can inductively charge multiple Apple devices at once, including the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, and Apple Watch Series 3 models. It will also be able to charge AirPods when they are placed in a new inductive charging case set to launch alongside AirPower.

The mat's ability to charge multiple devices will be achieved with a propriety technology developed by Apple. Apple said it will work to have its technology become part of the universal Qi standard supported by the latest iPhones.

It's still unclear if Apple will announce the AirPower's availability at a March event alongside other new products, via press release, or quietly with an update to its online store. If there is an event planned, Apple will likely send invitations to the media by Thursday at the absolute latest.


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Apple’s AirPower Wireless Charging Mat Could Be Available to Buy Next Month

Apple will begin selling its AirPower wireless charging mat next month, according to Japanese website Mac Otakara. The publication has spoken to "reliable sources" who have apparently confirmed a claim made earlier in February by The Apple Post that the wireless accessory will go on sale in Apple retail stores sometime in March, although the specific date still remains unclear.


Announced by Apple in September, AirPower is an oval-shaped white charging mat featuring Qi-compatible networking technology that will allow it to charge multiple devices at once. Along with an iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, or iPhone X, and the Apple Watch Series 3, the AirPower charges AirPods thanks to a new wireless charging AirPods case that's also set to be released sometime soon.

According to the original rumor, Apple intends to make the AirPower mat available to purchase concurrently at Best Buy and other Authorized Apple Resellers alongside its own retail stores. The Apple Post also claimed that in addition, Apple retail stores will stock the updated AirPods wireless charging case on the same day, although Mac Otakara's own sources make no mention of this.

Mac Otakara has connections to the Asian supply chain and Asian accessory manufacturers, making it a typically trusted source for Apple product rumors. That said, the publication does not have a perfect record and has shared inaccurate info on occasion, so it's best not to take the latest report as fact until backed up by other sources.

Right now our best guess is that Apple's AirPower wireless charging mat will cost around $199 in the United States, based on a price listing for the accessory that appeared on a Polish website in November.


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Apple’s Upcoming AirPower Wireless Charging Mat Could Cost Around $199 in the United States

Apple's upcoming AirPower wireless charging mat has recently appeared on Polish online retailer X-Kom's website for 999 Złotych, and while it can't be purchased yet, the listing may offer clues about how much the accessory will cost.


As noted by Polish blog ThinkApple, many products that cost 999 Złotych on Apple's online store in Poland are priced at $199 in the United States. Bose's SoundLink speaker, for example, is 999 Złotych in Poland and $199.95 in the United States.

Similarly, the iPod touch with 32GB of storage costs 990 Złotych in Poland and $199 in the United States on Apple's website.

What we don't know is if the price X-Kom lists for the AirPower is simply a placeholder, and if Apple will charge the same amount. Apple's pricing is often consistent with third-party retailers, but not always, and currency exchange rates fluctuate.

AirPower is an oval-shaped charging mat that can inductively charge multiple Apple devices at once, including the iPhone 8, iPhone X, and Apple Watch Series 3 models. It will also work with Apple's upcoming wireless AirPods charging case.

The mat's ability to charge multiple devices will be achieved with a propriety technology being developed by Apple. Apple said it will work to have its technology become part of the universal Qi standard supported by the latest iPhones.

Apple said AirPower will be released in 2018, but it hasn't provided a more specific release date yet.


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Apple Unveils ‘AirPower’ Multi-Device Wireless Charging Accessory Coming Next Year

At its iPhone-centric event that saw the unveiling of the new iPhone X and iPhone 8 equipped with Qi wireless charging capabilities, Apple announced a new wireless charging accessory called "AirPower."

Designed as a simple oval-shaped white charging mat, AirPower is able to charge the iPhone X and the iPhone 8 inductively. It also works with the Apple Watch Series 3 models and a new AirPods charging case that was briefly mentioned during the keynote.


The new AirPods charging case is identical to the current case, with the exception of a new indicator light located on the outside of the body and the wireless charging capabilities.

In addition to being able to charge through Apple's AirPower charging mat, the new iPhone X and the iPhone 8 will also be able to charge using Qi-based charging accessories. Apple will partner with companies like Mophie and Belkin to create iPhone-specific accessories, but all Qi chargers should work as event videos showed the iPhone charging in cafes and other locations.

According to Apple, its AirPower charging mat uses a new kind of charging standard that is able to support multiple devices at once, so it won't be immediately available.

Apple plans to ship the AirPower in 2018, but a more specific launch date hasn't been announced. Pricing is alwo unknown at this time.


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