September 2017 had seen Apple unveiling AirPower alongside the iPhone X and Apple Watch Series 3 with a vague possibility of being available in 2018. However, it seems that prospects of AirPower being released in the remaining months of 2018 is quite bleak what with the reports on the major issues delaying the AirPower release, the September 2018 event already being over and few mentions of AirPower on the Apple website.
Sonny Dickinson’s report that cites Apple sources presents the three main issues Apple is facing while trying to bring AirPower to the market.
Firstly, it speaks of the mat producing too much heat that keeps affecting the rate of charging of the devices laid on it. Moreover, the additional heating also overloads the onboard silicon, a custom Apple charging chip that runs a stripped down version of iOS.
Secondly, the device communication software and the data transfer about charging activation and charge levels are reportedly buggy.
Thirdly, AirPower had promised the innovative ability to charge up to three devices at a time. Dickson reports that between 21 and 24 different power coils of various sizes are placed beneath the white surface of the charging mats, which enables a user to place a phone, watch or AirPods, on the mat in any location. However, the overlapping coils are a particularly complex challenge as the tightly packed nature of this arrangement has led to interference issues between coils, reducing charging efficiency and causing excess heat.
Whether the AirPower project has been entirely scrapped or not, is not mentioned in the Dickinson report.
According to John Gruber, Apple has either gone back to the drawing board and started from scratch or given up. Dickson reportedly suggests that Apple may use the AirPower trademark on a different wireless charging product than what was originally envisioned and presented. This might be revealed not before Spring 2019.
Apple has so far declined to comment on the matter to the press.