Apple said to be developing ‘less ambitious’ AirPower charger

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AirPower
Arriving in 2020?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple is planning a “less ambitious” wireless charging gadget that will fill the gap left by AirPower’s cancellation, according to a new report.

Cupertino’s original plans for a wireless charger included the ability to charge iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods simultaneously. It’s unclear if its replacement will support more than just iPhone and AirPods.

After announcing AirPower alongside iPhone X in 2017, Apple last year confirmed that the device was canceled. The reasons behind that decision were never made official, but rumors cited multiple issues.

One of the biggest, according to sources for Bloomberg, was the risk of AirPower overheating. It’s not uncommon for wireless chargers to get warm — especially when topping up multiple devices.

But, just as other reports have claimed, AirPower may not be completely dead yet.

AirPower could be back … in some form

“More than a year after AirPower’s demise, Apple is developing a less ambitious wireless charger for the iPhone,” writes Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman in a piece on new charging tech from Aira.

Gurman doesn’t reveal any other details. However, his description of the “less ambitious” device suggests it probably won’t be capable of charging three Apple devices simultaneously like the original.

It could be that the mat won’t charge Apple Watch at all. One potential AirPower issue is that its charging coils were too big to support both iPhone and Apple Watch’s proprietary charging standard.

This is the primary reason why other multi-device wireless chargers don’t support Apple Watch at all, or have separate Apple Watch charging components.

Arriving in 2020?

Reliable TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported in January that Apple’s new AirPower pad is part of a huge lineup of products that are all scheduled to launch in 2020.

We’re already seen some of those — including the 4.7-inch iPhone SE, new iPad Pro models, and refreshes for the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. Could a revamped AirPower come with iPhone 12 this fall?