Largely thanks to Tim Cook’s operational wizardry, Apple has carved out a reputation as a master of manufacturing: able to deliver products in massive quantities, exactly when it says it will.
The notable exception to this rule? Apple’s AirPower wireless charger. Announced in late 2017, the next-gen charging mat was promised to ship some time in 2018. Needless to say, that hasn’t happened.
Starting to get the feeling AirPower might not ship in 2018, you guys.
— John Gruber (@gruber) December 29, 2018
Apple never gave an exact launch date for the AirPower charging mat, although Phil Schiller told viewers of the September 2017 iPhone X media event that people should “look for the AirPower charger next year.”
Since then, Apple hasn’t given any kind of update whatsoever — even just to say that it is suffering delays. It has also been scrubbed from Apple’s website.
A report from renowned Apple leaker Sonny Dickson has previously suggested that there are major hardware problems with the AirPower project. Specifically, Apple engineers are facing overheating issues which are hampering the effectiveness of the device.
Coming in 2019?
That doesn’t necessarily mean that the project is dead, however. Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities recently suggested that the AirPower charging mat may ship in the first three months of 2019. Documentation for the new iPhones also makes a passing mention of the AirPower. Given that this documentation was only released in September, it suggests that (short of some major proofreading oversight), Apple still expects the AirPower mat to ship eventually.
Under Tim Cook’s leadership, delays of new Apple products have increased compared to similar releases under Steve Jobs. Will Apple be able to turn that around in 2019? We’ll have to wait and see.
With Apple stock having been hammered as of late, however — and with most investors and casual fans seemingly having forgotten about AirPower — we’re not surprised to see Apple staying quiet.