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Apple cancels AirPower (yes, you read that correctly)

Apple's most public piece of vapourware, the doomed AirPower wireless charging mat. (Source: Apple)
Apple's most public piece of vapourware, the doomed AirPower wireless charging mat. (Source: Apple)
In what will surely go down as one of the biggest fails in tech history, Apple has quietly announced that it has cancelled its Qi-enabled, long overdue, AirPower charging mat. Apple quietly made the dumbfounding announcement in a written statement to TechCrunch.
Sanjiv Sathiah,
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Unbelievably, almost incomprehensibly, Apple has admitted complete failure on its fabled AirPower charging mat. Referenced in documentation and imagery as recently as the launch of the new AirPods with Wireless Charging Case, the device will now apparently never ship. It was first introduced to audiences in September 2017 with news that it was to go on sale in early 2018. The product slipped, it was rumored, because its three charging coils overheated due to their close proximity (it was supposed to be able to simultaneously charge the Apple Watch, AirPods and iPhone), something that Apple’s vaunted hardware engineers haven’t been able to overcome.

One might think it an April Fool’s joke except isn't yet the end of March, coupled with the fact that Apple has never publicly undertaken an April Fool’s stunt. Senior VP of Hardware Engineering Dan Riccio sent this emailed statement to TechCrunch announcing the debacle:

After much effort, we’ve concluded AirPower will not achieve our high standards and we have cancelled the project. 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.

The failure will be a huge blow to Apple’s engineering reputation and comes on the back of a developing view that Apple is losing its cutting-edge capabilities and ability to innovate. The news of AirPower’s demise comes hot on the heels of Apple’s admission this week that its third attempt to eliminate the issues plaguing its butterfly mechanism-based keyboards has also been an abject failure. Clearly Apple didn’t want to add malfunctioning AirPower mats to its list of faulty hardware, which is probably a wise move in the end. If not completely, and utterly humiliating.

A recently updated image of AirPower was leaked on the Australian Apple website - noteably, it only shows two devices charging at once. (Source: Apple)
A recently updated image of AirPower was leaked on the Australian Apple website - noteably, it only shows two devices charging at once. (Source: Apple)
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Sanjiv Sathiah
Sanjiv Sathiah - Senior Tech Writer - 1262 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2017
I have been writing about consumer technology over the past ten years, previously with the former MacNN and Electronista, and now Notebookcheck since 2017. My first computer was an Apple ][c and this sparked a passion for Apple, but also technology in general. In the past decade, I’ve become increasingly platform agnostic and love to get my hands on and explore as much technology as I can get my hand on. Whether it is Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Nintendo, Xbox, or PlayStation, each has plenty to offer and has given me great joy exploring them all. I was drawn to writing about tech because I love learning about the latest devices and also sharing whatever insights my experience can bring to the site and its readership.
contact me via: @t3mporarybl1p
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 03 > Apple cancels AirPower (yes, you read that correctly)
Sanjiv Sathiah, 2019-03-29 (Update: 2019-03-29)