When Apple debut the iPhone X last fall, the company also proclaimed AirPower, a wireless charging pad with special Apple magic that would let you charge three devices at once faster than traditional Qi wireless chargers. Hence months later, AirPower still isn’t here, and it’s not clear when it will actually be available. The next step was wireless charging for the iPhone, the ability to drop Apple’s flagship product on a charging mat and juice it up via a process known as induction. This accessory is taking longer to make due to a series of technical hurdles, slowing the company’s wireless strategy and highlighting supply-chain challenges that have hampered product launches in recent years.
This is strange for Apple, which in recent history has capitalized on product announcements for things like new iPhones by making those devices available for pre-order within a couple weeks or less. Even the pricey iPhone X, with its complicated FaceID tech, took under three months to land in peoples’ hands from announcement to availability. And despite delays, the HomePod, which was announced in June 2017, eventually went on sale earlier this year in February.
According to Bloomberg, it seems Apple’s big challenge is making a charging mat that can handle an iPhone, AirPods, and an Apple Watch all at the same time. That’s because instead of simply mixing two or three regular wireless pads together, Apple is trying to make sure that there are no charging dead spots, so no matter where you place a device on the pad, it will receive all the juice it needs. But the most interesting thing to come out of Bloomberg’s report is that Apple engineers originally considered removing wired charging from the iPhone X entirely, forcing users to go full wireless. The move didn’t end up panning out because AirPower wasn’t ready yet and Apple deemed other wireless chargers too slow to rely on, Bloomberg reports.
There’s a chance AirPower could get released later this summer. For owners of Apple products, AirPower is a lot bigger than just another way to recharge their devices