Apple has canceled its AirPower wireless charging mat product, according to a statement by an executive from the company. The product had seen repeated delays due to technical challenges.
AirPower was introduced alongside the iPhone X and Apple Watch Series 3 in the company’s first event at the Steve Jobs Theater, in September of 2017.
Apple said it would be a wireless charging mat that could simultaneously charge your iPhone, your Apple Watch, and your AirPods, regardless of where you placed them on the mat. At the time, AirPods could not be wirelessly charged, but Apple just released a version of the AirPods’ charging case that supports the feature.
As the mat failed to arrive in 2018, reports and speculation abounded that Apple was facing serious technical challenges in developing the product. Apple initially planned to launch the product by June 2018, but the company delayed it to September. When the product didn’t appear then, Apple bloggers revealed a little more inside info: AirPower’s design, which incorporated overlapping charging coils, was prone to overheating. Some engineers within Apple reportedly believed they could solve this problem, but as time went on, those working on the project inside the company became less optimistic.
Apple apparently held on to the notion that it could still ship AirPower until very recently, as the product is mentioned in packaging for the refreshed AirPods released just a couple of weeks ago. But in a very rare move unprecedented in the current era, Apple Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering Dan Riccio acknowledged that the company had completely canceled a previously announced hardware product:
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
For now, there are numerous other existing third-party solutions available to users for wirelessly charging iPhones and AirPods. Any Qi-standard charger should work.