Apple cancels AirPower (yes, you read that correctly)
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.