Apple’s AirPower Wireless Charger: What Happened?

(Josh Centers) #1

Originally published at:

The AirPower wireless charging pad that Apple announced last year seems to have proved significantly more difficult to engineer than Apple had anticipated. If and when it ships, it may be quite different from what Apple previously described.

(Dennis Swaney) #2

Seems like the easiest path would have been to buy a company that is already making the chargers and rename them “AirPower” (at least as a stop gap).

(Adam Engst) #3

Yep, but presumably Apple felt that their engineering team was up to the challenge. I suspect that most, if not all, of the Qi chargers can’t charge multiple devices, or can’t charge them at the speeds Apple wants.

(Dennis Swaney) #4

The proposal of one iDevice charging another iDevice wirelessly is also intriguing; put your iPad on the charger, put your iPhone on top of the iPad, and your Watch on top of the iPhone.

(Adam Engst) #5

You can charge the Apple Pencil from an iPad already, but there probably isn’t enough power in any one device to use it as a source for many others.

(Dennis Swaney) #6

Apparently the proposal is an expansion of either AirPower or possible wireless charging in general. Charging would be two-way capable, so in an emergency you can use an Watch to give a quick jolt to your iPhone (I really don’t see this actually happening) or your iPhone to your iPad. The idea seems to be a wireless daisy-chain: charger charges iPad, once a certain level of charge is reached the iPad could begin charging another iDevice. Again, once a certain level of charge is reached in iDevice 2, then IT could start passing power on to a 3rd iDevice. But, right now it is just a proposal.

(Paul Chernoff) #7

It isn’t just charging multiple devices at the same time but allowing you to put your device anywhere on the pad, as opposed to a specific point. I’m no engineer but I’ve read about the challenges of this approach, much more difficult than the chargers that are out there.

As nice as it might sound, I wonder if the cost will be worth it to almost anyone.

Apple needs to stop preannouncing products that are this far from production.