Apple has cancelled AirPower – eighteen months after announcing it alongside the anniversary edition iPhone X, and the vanilla iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. AirPower was supposed to be Apple’s vision for the future of wireless charging – the wireless charging mat would charge an iPhone, the Apple Watch and AirPods simultaneously and you wouldn’t have to care about where you put them. But it never really took off – something that has become subject of countless memes on the internet even as fans continued to wait with bated breath for when Apple announces price and availability.
Now we have some seemingly official explanation why AirPower never really made it to the market all this while – and it never will.
“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,” Apple SVP of hardware engineering Dan Riccio said in a statement to TechCrunch.
While it is obviously embarrassing for Apple – AirPower is perhaps the first modern-day Apple product to have been cancelled after having witnessed a high-profile unveiling (and Apple has been mentioning AirPower on packaging materials including the newly launched AirPods wireless charging case), but it also goes to show how important quality is for an Apple product.
Even though wireless charging mats/pads that charge multiple devices have been around, AirPower was designed (basis of pictures that Apple shared) to be much sleeker – that could be one reason why it was technically not very feasible. It could have resulted in overheating with multiple coils being placed close to one another. Another interesting feature of AirPower – it would allow users to view the charging status of all the devices on the iPhone in real-time.
While it’s nice to see Apple striving for high quality standards, the ongoing MacBook butterfly keyboard-gate also reflects its double standards – Apple has apologized for it again and again even as it continues to sell MacBooks with butterfly keyboards around the world.