Apple's AirPower mat might be 'doomed to failure', according to new report

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Announced last year alongside the iPhone X, Apple's AirPower charging mat promised to bring wireless simultaneous charging to multiple Apple products upon its eventual release. 

After an initial delay that would see the Qi-based device pushed to March, then a second postponement to September (a whole year after its original announcement), the AirPower mat has seemingly missed the boat once again, vanishing from Apple's website in the process. 

Now the only AirPower-related question we have for the Cupertino company is: what's going on?

Thanks to a new report (opens in new tab) from noted leaker Sonny Dickson, we may now have some details about the alleged problems that are holding the AirPower mat from release. 

Failure to launch

According to Dickson, who cites several inside sources, "the broad feeling of many working the project at Apple is that the device may be doomed to failure, and may not be viable at all unless significant advancements can be made."

The report lists several key issues which Apple is allegedly facing in regards to the AirPower mat, with a heat management problem believed to be the company's biggest hurdle.

"Currently the device produces far too much heat, which causes performance setbacks, and can affect the ability of the devices to charge if they become too warm in the process," says Dickson.

Other reported issues include buggy inter-device communication, issues with charging activation and charging speed, and other mechanical and interference concerns.

Will the AirPower mat ever be released?

With so many purported engineering hurdles to overcome, there is a worry that Apple may end up shelving the AirPower mat indefinitely. 

That said, Dickson does put forth the possibility that the mat could ultimately be "taken back to the drawing board with an all new design that would have a different appearance than the one Apple showed us at the 2017 iPhone X event."

He continued, "While it is still possible for the AirPower (or a similar device not yet shown to the public) to debut before the end of the year, broad consensus among engineers suggests that this is highly unlikely."

If an all-new product bearing the AirPower trademark were to eventuate, Dickson's sources claim that a public showing of the (totally hypothetical) device would be “not likely to occur before [US] Spring”.

Stephen Lambrechts
Senior Journalist, Phones and Entertainment

Stephen primarily covers phones and entertainment for TechRadar's Australian team, and has written professionally across the categories of tech, film, television and gaming in both print and online for over a decade. He's obsessed with smartphones, televisions, consoles and gaming PCs, and has a deep-seated desire to consume all forms of media at the highest quality possible. 

He's also likely to talk a person’s ear off at the mere mention of Android, cats, retro sneaker releases, travelling and physical media, such as vinyl and boutique Blu-ray releases. Right now, he's most excited about QD-OLED technology, The Batman and Hellblade 2: Senua's Saga.