Apple has yet again delayed the release of its AirPower wireless charging mat, according to the latest from Bloomberg (opens in new tab). Citing anonymous sources, Bloomberg reports that the AirPower product won’t be seen in Apple stores until September.
This follows supposed launch delays in March and June (Apple itself was never more specific than ‘2018’ with its release timing), with sources claiming that preventing the charger from overheating has been a particular challenge.
Of course, Apple has declined to comment on the matter.
The charging pad is considerably more complex than the standard Qi chargers on the market today, which Apple itself recommended iPhone X and iPhone 8 users buy if they can't wait for the AirPower mat.
AirPower is designed to charge up to three devices at once: ideally your latest iPhone, the Apple Watch and the AirPods (once that wireless charging case is released). The mat also has an iPhone-like processor inside and runs on a pared-down version of iOS to bring deeper integration with the various devices it charges.
Transparency brings teething pains aplenty
It's a complex system, and that's before you consider the fact that, as Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman points out, charging three very different devices at once likely requires varying nodes of power delivery.
After all, you don’t charge your Apple Watch with an iPhone adapter just because they charge in different ways: they’re designed to charge at different wattages.
This isn’t the first time Apple has experienced delays in launching products in new frontiers. The firm's wireless AirPod earphones and HomePod speaker were both held back, and still had problems when they were finally released.
However, these multiple reported product delays could be a product of Apple’s newfound commitment to transparency about products it has in development. Perhaps this is why the Apple of old was infamously mum on any new products until they debuted on the keynote stage.
These sorts of delays may well have been the norm for Apple internally for years, but only now are we seeing it when products are teased far further in advance than ever before.
At any rate, Bloomberg reports that Apple is working with longtime partner in manufacturing, Pegatron, to produce the AirPower device. Hopefully such a powerful friend on the production line will help Apple make good on its ‘2018’ release window.
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