What does Apple’s oft-discussed, never-shipped AirPower charging pad have in common with Baron Samedi, the voodoo priest from the 1973 James Bond movie Live and Let Die? Two things predominantly: 1) People think they’re folklore until they actually appear, and 2) They seemingly can’t die.
That’s right: After dodging death more times than Evel Knievel, a new Bloomberg report claims that AirPower is back on. Again. Or, at the very least, the project still has a heartbeat.
The rise and fall and rise and fall and rise of AirPower
Apple initially announced its futuristic charging pad — for simultaneously wirelessly charging multiple devices — at its iPhone X keynote way back in September 2017. It promised it would ship in 2018, only to then officially cancel the project in March 2019. This was reportedly due to major engineering challenges. The close proximity of the device’s charging coils was rumored to be responsible for massive overheating issues. It was one of the only times Apple has ever announced a piece of hardware and then cancelled it prior to shipping.
At the time, Dan Riccio, Apple’s SVP of hardware engineering, said that: “We’ve concluded AirPower will not achieve our high standards and we have canceled the project.”
However, early in 2020, Apple tipster Jon Prosser suggested that the project had been resurrected. That revival didn’t last for too long, however, as, in October, Prosser noted that: “All AirPower prototyping / testing has been removed from the schedule for 2021. Sources doubt that it’ll ever be picked back up again. Seems like once again, AirPower is dead.”
Well, dead in the way that a zombie, forever lurching back into motion, is dead, perhaps. Here’s Bloomberg in a new report:
“[Apple] is still exploring a future wireless charger that works similarly to its failed AirPower, a charging mat designed to simultaneously power up an iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods, [people with knowledge of the project] said. It is also internally investigating alternative wireless charging methods that can work over greater distances than an inductive connection. Turning such technology into a product is likely several years away, however.”
Sounds great, right? Well it could be — if ever ships, that is.