Remember AirPower? How could any of us forget it? Apple’s all-in-one charging solution may be long dead and buried, but the dream is alive. And we can’t help be fascinated by the product that was announced and never delivered.
If you share similar feelings, you might want to take a look at this short video that shows off a working AirPower prototype for the first time.
AirPower was supposed to charge three devices — like iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods — simultaneously. Unlike similar charging solutions, it was meant to negate the need to perfectly align your device with a charging coil.
But this design, which likely used multiple overlapping charging coils so that devices could be placed anywhere, ran into a number of development issues. Sources claimed Apple had trouble preventing AirPower from overheating.
AirPower missed its launch date in 2018 after being postponed, then finally got canceled altogether in March 2019. But working prototype units obviously exist somewhere, and one of them has appeared for the first time.
AirPower prototype appears in short video
The short video below, posted on Twitter, shows an AirPower charging an iPhone. It presents a fancy charging animation — much more elaborate than that used for the MagSafe charger — that we’ve never seen before.
— Giulio Zompetti (@1nsane_dev) August 5, 2021
The AirPower itself is quite clearly a development unit that seems to be missing its top cover. It is connected to what is likely a Lightning cable, though it could be a USB-C connector.
Although we’ve seen pictures of alleged AirPower units in the past, this is the first video — albeit a very short one — that shows the device in action.
AirPower still in Apple’s plans?
Apple likely could have brought AirPower to market with a less ambitious design that worked like other charging pads — with fewer coils that meant users had to consciously line up their devices for charging.
But with the company unable to meet its original goal, AirPower simply wouldn’t have had the magic we expect from Apple products, and that’s likely why it was canceled rather than revised.
But Apple may not have given up on AirPower altogether. Some reports from reliable sources like Mark Gurman suggest the company is still exploring similar charging solutions for the future.