The story of the AirPower wireless charging mat has been a baffling one: Apple teased it all the way back in 2017 and promised a 2018 launch, but since then has been rather quiet on when we can expect to see it. Rumors have swirled of numerous delays amid speculation that development on the mat is on the verge of being canceled altogether.
According to reputable charging experts ChargeLab, though, the AirPower mat is alive and well – and now entering mass production, finally. That's based on a tip from unnamed sources working in the Apple supply chain.
ChargeLab's sources say that the AirPower is being made by Luxshare Precision, the same company that handles manufacturing duties for the AirPods and various USB-C cables on behalf of Apple. While we can't get guarantee that this is happening, it seems to be a tip off at the more credible end of the scale.
Charging to a full launch
Apple remains silent on the matter for now, unless you count a mention of the AirPower mat in the instructional manual accompanying the iPhone XS: the manual details how to charge the phone with the mat, even though the mat doesn't exist yet.
It seems clear at this point that Apple is having trouble getting the charging mat working in the way it wants. The AirPower base promises to charge three different devices at once, so you could pop down your iPhone, your Apple Watch, and your AirPods case on the device and watch them all start to charge up wirelessly.
That's no mean feat in engineering terms, and earlier reports suggested that AirPower prototypes were slow, buggy and unreliable. If Apple has managed to iron out those problems, we might see an announcement in the next few months.
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Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.