We Regret to Inform You AirPower Has Been Canceled
Apple pulled the plug on the long-awaited AirPower Friday.
The company’s senior vice president of hardware engineering, Dan Riccio, tells Inverse the company has canceled production of the wireless charging device due its inability to get the device to a certain level of quality.
“After much effort, we’ve concluded AirPower will not achieve our high standards and we have cancelled the project,” he said. “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.”
Friday’s announcement follows a series of Apple hardware releases, including a an upgraded pair of AirPods earbuds with a wireless charging case. It was anticipated that the AirPower would follow the launch of the AirPods’ wireless charging case, its packaging even mentioned the wireless charger. But Apple put an end to any hopes that the charger might ever make it to market.
Friday’s announcement is a rare miss for Apple, which has had a recent history of delays but has never axed a project after its announcement. The original AirPods and HomePod smart speaker faced several months of delays, but eventually made it to shelves. But the AirPower was a different story.
The company has first unveiled the charging mat in September 2017, alongside the iPhone X, with an expected launch date of “some time in 2018.” Halfway through last year, a report by veteran Apple reporter Mark Gurman revealing that the device was facing delays due to engineering issue would be the first of many to hint that Apple may have bit off a little more than it could chew.
Apple’s SVP of worldwide market Phil Schiller teased that the AirPower would be able to simultaneously charge an iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods. Subsequent reports suggested that the company wanted to embed somewhere between 27 to 16 charging coils into the pad. This proved to be a feat that was too ambitious for Apple to pull off, which puzzling when there are so many wireless chargers capable of charging multiple devices at once.
A cursory glance online will reveal devices that are almost identical to what Apple wanted to offer with the AirPower. The company wanted to make it so users never had to worry about how they placed their devices down on the mat. It’s possible that it wasn’t able to get this feature exactly how they wanted to and for now it seems like they never will.
Apple has been selling third-party wireless chargers on its site for years and after Friday that’s how it’ll remain.