Why did Apple scrap plans for the AirPower?

“At the unveiling of the iPhone 7 in September 2016, Apple design chief Jonathan Ive declared it the beginning of a ‘wireless future — a future where all of your devices intuitively connect,'” Tim Bradshaw writes for Financial Times. “However, there has been turbulence on the path to Sir Jonathan’s untethered future. Last month’s cancellation of Apple’s AirPower wireless charging mat was a painful moment for a company that prides itself on creating technology that ‘just works.'”

“AirPower was unveiled in September 2017, alongside the tenth-anniversary iPhone X, as part of one of Apple’s biggest product launch events for years,” Bradshaw writes. “But while the latest iPhones can typically be ordered within days of the new upgrades being unveiled on stage, AirPower’s release was slated vaguely for sometime in 2018. By the end of last year, Apple had gone ominously quiet on AirPower. Most mentions of the product disappeared from its website.”

“Then last month, AirPower suddenly made a reappearance — on the packaging for the new AirPods. The second generation of the popular headphones now sported a case that could be charged wirelessly. An illustration on the AirPods box clearly showed them sitting on the clean oval outline of AirPower,” Bradshaw writes. “But those hopes were soon dashed. Apple announced on a Friday afternoon that AirPower had been cancelled, after all.”

Designs in patent filings from Apple point to more than a dozen overlapping coils inside a single AirPower mat, which could alleviate the need for such precise placement. But such a design could also create multiple ‘harmonic frequencies’ which could cause electromagnetic interference with devices such as pacemakers, according to iFixit,” Bradshaw writes. “Another problem may have been with overheating — not just of the iPhone, AirPods or Watch, whose batteries can be put under strain by excessive heat, but also of nearby metal items such as coins or keys.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take:

Tim Cook is not the best person to be CEO of Apple – April 2, 2019
Apple’s AirPower: a fiasco beyond imagination – April 1, 2019
Apple officially pulls the plug on AirPower – March 29, 2019
Apple’s AirPower to launch late this month, supply chain sources say – March 22, 2019
Apple secures rights to AirPower trademark – March 21, 2019
New AirPower image alongside iPhone XS appears within Apple’s website code – March 21, 2019
Will we see Apple announce AirPower, new iPod touch before week’s end? – March 20, 2019
Apple has approved production of AirPower wireless-charging mat – March 20, 2019
Apple’s iOS 12.2 beta 6 includes AirPower support – March 20, 2019
Tim Cook’s Apple vs. Steve Jobs’ Apple – February 28, 2019
Apple unveils AirPower charging mat to simultaneously charge your iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods; coming ‘next year’ – September 12, 2017
Apple’s desperate Mac Pro damage control message hints at a confused, divided company – April 6, 2017
What Steve Jobs gave Apple that Tim Cook cannot – November 18, 2015
The culture at Apple changed when Tim Cook took over as CEO – April 10, 2017
Lazy Apple. It’s not hard to imagine Steve Jobs asking, ‘What have you been doing for the last four years?’ – December 9, 2016
Open letter to Tim Cook: Apple needs to do better – January 5, 2015


    1. As far as I can tell, you still have wireless charging capability with your new AirPod case. You just don’t have an AirPower pad that can charge multiple devices laid randomly across it.

  1. This whole fiasco has been a Cecil B. DeMille level cockup of epic proportions.
    If this one event doesn’t illustrate why Pipeline Timmy is so far out of his element, nothing ever will.
    If Apple is to survive the next decade and beyond, Mr. Timothy Cook has got to go.

  2. Mainly it is a waste of energy and time.
    Just like a wired network is more efficient than WiFi so is a wired charge faster, cheaper and more efficient that ‘air power’ (not to mention secondary effects).

    I saw it as pie-in-the-sky JUST to eliminate another port.

      1. Your attempted conflation of RF beamed power with RF communications is illogical, squiggles. They are entirely different beasts even though they share the RF medium.

        Better batteries will always beat beamed power except, perhaps, in a few specific cases (e.g., very low power distributed sensor system that is mass and volume constrained).

      2. Actually in this instance TT is correct. Wireless charging is a fool’s errand. It’s more expensive and less efficient. The only problem it “solves” is for lazy people to be able to pick up the latest tweet storm without unplugging that oh-so-terrible wire.

        WiFi remains a bag of hurt. The average consumer has no idea how slow and insecure his setup is. With effort, security can be improved, but few people are trained in the ways of WiFi complexities. With Apple abandoning the market, it’s not likely to get better anytime soon. Whenever possible, use the Ethernet jack. You know, the one that you have to dongle to your Apple laptop because Apple is too cheap to offer a comprehensive array of ports like every other hardware company in the world.

  3. it wouldn’t be just to eliminate a port, and the phone could essentially be always charging if done correctly… It would make the iPhone that much closer to being totally waterproof, convenient, and more, IF IT WORKED,,, I guess it “just doesn’t work”

  4. Overheating nearby metal items such as coins, keys, and perhaps coke spoons, eh? Just think what the coursing energy frequencies could do to bones and the body liquid?

  5. “Another problem may have been with overheating — not just of the iPhone, AirPods or Watch, whose batteries can be put under strain by excessive heat, but also of nearby metal items such as coins or keys.”

    So basically Apple inadvertently created an Apple branded induction hot plate?

      1. Pretty much, though microwaves work on water molecules and induction heaters on metals. Ever tried microwaving something with very little to no water content? Doesn’t do a thing.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.