Rumor: iPhone 12 Pro could go portless, explains renewed interest in AirPower
Tipster Jon Prosser has dug up some additional details on the Apple project to resurrect the failed AirPower wireless charging mat we reported on yesterday. According to Prosser’s sources, AirPower has been revived because Apple thinks it is “necessary to push [a] portless iPhone”. If that was to eventuate as soon as the iPhone 12 Pro, due later this year, it would be a glaring omission for Apple to offer an iPhone that demands wireless charging but not offer an in-house companion wireless charging mat.
While Prosser doesn’t offer a timeline for the introduction of a portless iPhone, Apple looks to be working around the challenges presented with the original design goals for the AirPower mat. A key usability issue of Qi-enabled wireless charging mats is they require the user to find the ‘sweet spot’ rather than just being able to casually place their device on the mat. Apple’s original design for AirPower had multiple coils overlapping each other to eliminate this problem, but it couldn’t manage to achieve this without the mat dangerously overheating.
Apple’s revised approach may not deliver on the original promise, but it would still mark a substantial improvement over standard Qi mats. Codenamed ‘Callisto’ internally (the same as the original prototype design), the new design approach uses larger transmitter coils, but fewer, which should reduce the heat generated by having three devices placed on the mat. It also uses leather instead of silicone. With an all-new iPhone design expected for the iPhone 12 Pro, it would make sense for Apple to introduce the portless design sooner rather than later.