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Doomed to failure: will we ever see the AirPower charger?

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When Apple unveiled the iPhone 8 and iPhone X this time last year, it marked the first time wireless charging capabilities had been included in an iPhone. Though Apple didn’t have an official wireless charger to sell alongside it, the company promised a fancy charging mat dubbed “AirPower” would be released in 2018, and that iPhones would at least work with third-party solutions in the meantime.

Since then, we’ve had radio silence regarding AirPower, and it was a complete no-show at Apple’s big press event last week. Now, an exclusive new report from Sonny Dickson suggests the project is having serious development issues and may not see the light of day ever, let alone in 2018. Adding credence to this report is the fact that Apple has removed almost all mention of the product from its website.

According to “multiple internal sources,” three main issues have made things difficult for Apple’s dev team. Firstly, the charger in its current iteration is prone to overheat, which can not only damage devices in contact with it but can wear down the internal charging chip, too. Secondly, it’s proving harder than expected to communicate with and recharge multiple devices at once, as was the original plan for AirPower. Thirdly, the three distinct power coils – required for the differing power needs of iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods – are causing interference with one another that can’t easily be solved without making the device considerably bigger.

All this has led one internal source to describe the project as “doomed to fail,” with others confirming the sentiment. Of course, this all could be wrong and Apple could still be planning to release the product before the end of the year – but all things considered, that seems unlikely at this point. It’s possible we’ll see this iteration of the project scrapped in favor of something else, and we’ll see the AirPower name reborn into something new and (hopefully) even better in future.