AirPower Is Still in the Works: Likely Release Date, Specs and Features 

The long-lost Apple product.

It’s not uncommon for a massive company like Apple to undergo product delays: Both the HomePod and AirPods were ecstatically announced, only to experience subsequent setbacks. But when it comes to belatedness, the long-awaited AirPower is truly in a league of its own.

It was first announced in September 2017 alongside the iPhone X, and one-by-one, 2018’s Apple launches came and went without an appearance. The lengthy wait time and radio silence led many to believe the AirPower is dead. But a combination of iOS software update marginalia as well as a series of recently added job listings suggest that Apple is still working to bring its first wireless charger to market.

The company’s jobs site currently lists six positions that include working on the AirPower in their descriptions.

AirPower.
The heralded AirPower powering three Apple devices at once.

Here’s everything we know about the mythic AirPower wireless charger.


AirPower: When Might It Be Released?

This is the million dollar question, and it’s unclear at this point whether Apple itself has the answer. While Apple’s SVP of worldwide market Phil Schiller didn’t specify a specific release date when he announced the charger, it was still implied they were targeting some time this year.

That timeline was also reiterated by two of the most reliable leakers — Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman and the analyst Ming Chi-Kuo — who both indicated that a 2018 was in the works as recently as Apple’s October product roll-out. But with no more Apple product releases in sight, 2019 is the closest we’re getting to a release date.

It’s also unclear what will be AirPower’s major selling point. iPhones have supported wireless charging since the 8, and both the AirPods and Apple Watch were teased to be receiving similar features. Now that 2018 is coming to a close, it seems like Apple users will have to continue using third-party wireless chargers to make use of these features.

apple airpower design wireless charger
Designs of Apple's upcoming AirPower wireless charger obtained by Apple Patently.

AirPower: How Much Will It Cost?

Much like the release date, Apple has yet to reveal an official price tag for the AirPower. But estimates have moved toward a fairly steep asking price.

During the summer, Chinese website Chongdiantou reported that “industry insiders” speculated the AirPower could cost around 1,000 Chinese yuan, which is roughly $145. This is pretty competitive to similar products, that are also able to charge more than one device at once.

AirPower: What’s the Hold Up?

This massive delay reportedly comes down to the fact that Apple announced the AirPower before it figured out how to build it.

Gurman reported that engineers have been tirelessly working trying to cram all of the components necessary to charge an iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods case into such a small mat. This has caused a myriad of bugs and issues, including overheating, that still seem to be bedeviling the AirPower as the company has yet to provide any updates.

apple airpower wireless charger blueprint
Blueprint of all of the tech that needs to be crammed inside of an Apple AirPower wireless charger.

In short, Apple jumped the gun with its teaser.

AirPower: Is It Still Happening?

But all hope isn’t lost. Aside from the aforementioned job listings, the paper manuals of the most recent iPhones all mention the AirPower, which suggests we could still see it in 2019.

Customers that have purchased the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR all noted how the phones’ handbooks mentioned the AirPower by name. This could hint that Apple is aiming to launch it before the 2019 iPhones are released.

While 2018 may have left things looking bleak, the sun has yet to set on the AirPower.