Apple has officially cancelled the AirPower product that they’ve been developing for the past year.
“After much effort, we’ve concluded AirPower will not achieve our high standards and we haveDan Riccio, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering
cancelledthe 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.
AirPower was first announced in September 2017, which quickly became the focal point of that years’ product announcements. What’s interesting is that the AirPods, famously, had a bit of a delay that year as well, before becoming widely available and were shipped in limited quantities before finally hitting their stride. But AirPower, on the other hand, has had plenty of time to become a “thing”, and yet here we are. But this isn’t the first troubled product for Apple. They have recently had some issues with their MacBook keyboards, and we all remember the HomePod delays. Does this signal that something isn’t right with Apple’s hardware processes?
Everything that we’ve heard about the delay has been related to tough engineering problems related to the laws of physics. According to a Twitter post from Matthew Panzarino, “heat is a problem and it was shown off too early”. Meaning, the 3D charging coils are too close to one another. Of course, releasing a charging mat that causes devices to overheat, would do Apple a lot of bad press, so it kind of makes sense that they cancelled the project altogether.
AirPower’s cancellation isn’t good for Apple. In the past, they’ve only announced products once they’re ready to ship. Which is a great strategy, but with the way technology advances these days, that is a hard thing to achieve. And as you know, this isn’t the only misstep that Apple has made over the last few years. To start, their Mac Pro computer hasn’t received a major update since 2013. And maybe that’s ok, but if you’re a hardware company, you should probably keep your hardware up to date. While they do have an update expected later this year, it’s been 6 whole years and that’s a long time. Can you imagine if Apple didn’t update their iPhone for 6 years?! The world would literally come to an end.
That said, there are already a number of AirPower alternative products that are already on the market. It’s likely that we are going to see additional replacements in the future. The downside is that none of these alternatives will do exactly what the AirPower promised, because there are dedicated spots to charge each device. Each of these options will charge more than one device at a time, but it’s not ideal:
- Nomad Base Station Apple Watch Edition
- Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Dock
- SliceCharge 2 Wireless Charging Mat
- ZENS Dual + Watch Wireless Charger
- Unravel Wireless Charger
While none of these are from Apple, it will help scratch the AirPower itch until Apple is able to come up with something. It’s a great idea, so I think Apple will release it eventually, but they’re just not ready to release something that doesn’t live up to their standards.