What just happened? Citing technical difficulties in meeting its own standards, Apple has issued a statement announcing the long awaited AirPower wireless charging mat will not ship, ever. AirPower was announced alongside the iPhone X with a pending release date, and now, more than 550 days later, it has been cancelled.
Apple has announced the death of AirPower, its elusive wireless charging mat. "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.
The AirPower mat was announced alongside the iPhone X back in September of 2017 and was slated to ship sometime in 2018. However, 2018 came and went, and Apple kept mum on the matter. The cancellation of AirPower will serve as a blemish on Apple's relatively untarnished record, as it usually manages to deliver on announced hardware -- even if it's a bit late sometimes.
While unofficial, there have been numerous reports regarding the technical difficulties surrounding AirPower. It appears among the most insurmountable odds was overheating, likely due to Apple's multi-coil design for the mat. Apple was ostensibly going to create a new wireless charging standard with AirPower, based on the popular Qi standard. However, Apple would add in its own special sauce, e.g., proprietary technology (see: AirPods, Apple Thunderbolt, etc.), and bill AirPower as the best way to charge your iOS devices.
Back in January there were reports that Apple had finally overcome the hurdles facing AirPower and the company could be ready to ship them. Recent announcements detailing the proprietary H1 chip in the AirPods 2 raised hope again that maybe AirPower was finally on its way. Alas, it seems AirPower was doomed from the beginning, though on the upside there are plenty of good ways to charge your phone wirelessly (that are not a mat).
For single phone charging, check out the latest revision Samsung's Qi charger which is reliable and sleek looking. Other alternatives include this affordable $11 wireless charger, or how about this classy mousepad that doubles as a wireless charger on the side. None of these devices will do what the AirPower ultimately couldn't. The closest thing we found to a mat is a charging base from Nomad that can charge two devices simultaneously, but reviews are mixed as apparently you need to position devices precisely for it to work properly, which is no fun.