Apple’s first smartphone to support wireless charging launched in 2017, and at the time Apple also unveiled a wireless charging pad called AirPower.

While most wireless chargers can only charge a single device at a time, AirPower was supposed to let you charge an iPhone, an Apple Watch, and a set of Apple AirPods all at the same time.

Theoretically, anyway.

A year and a half later, Apple still hasn’t actually started selling AirPower chargers, and now it looks like the company never will — TechCrunch reports that Apple has canceled the product.

While Apple was working on its multi-device wireless charger, Samsung went ahead and brought one to market. The Samsung Wireless Charger Duo went on sale in the summer of 2018 and you can currently pick one up for about $100 and since it supports the Qi wireless charging standard and 7.5 watt fast charging, you can even use it to charge an iPhone or two if you want.

Update: In a bit of timing that I’m sure can only be coincidental, Amazon currently has the Samsung Wireless Charger Duo on sale for $65

Apple’s AirPower, on the other hand, was supposed to let users charge up to three devices at once, using special beamforming technology so that you could place your device anywhere on the pad rather than directly on top of a charging coil.

Rumor has it that in order to do this, AirPower would have had more charging coils than the two used in Samsung’s charger… and that Apple engineers ran into problems with those charging coils being too close to one another and generating too much heat.

Update: iFixit has reasonable-sounding theory: the technology may work in the lab, but Apple may have been unable to meet the FCC’s requirements for keeping its complex wireless charging system from interfering with other wireless devices. 

While Apple is canceling AirPower, the company does continue to sell third-party wireless chargers in its stores… which makes sense, since a growing number of Apple products can be charged wirelessly.

What remains to be seen is whether the company will launch a different first-party wireless charger in the future.

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8 replies on “Apple cancels long-delayed AirPower multi-device wireless charger”

  1. I still don’t get wireless charging. Are we that F’n lazy and/or stupid to not be willing and/or able to plug in a cord?

    Particularly stupid is wireless charging in GM cars. I’m not sure how the Apple version of Android Auto works, but for Android Auto you need to be plugged in (except with certain devices and certain cars, none of which I believe are GM cars).

    1. Wireless Charging is good/makes sense if the direction smartphones are going is to get rid of all the buttons, all the ports, all the cut-outs.

      That way phones can be IP79 certified, with decent impact absorption (when disregarding glass shatter).

      It would mean phones are practically disposable, can’t change battery, microSD card, or even SIM card. And must be only charged wirelessly and it can only connect to other accessories/computers via Wireless or Internet.

  2. Well, at least they didn’t pull a Google by releasing it and then cancelling it afterwards to the joy of the once again abandoned users.

    /s

    1. You talking about how Google made fun of Apple’s iPhone 7-X about killing the headphone jack….only for Google to copy them and remove the feature from their overpriced flagship phones the next year?

  3. Oh, Apple, you silly goose! All you had to do was to make a proprietary wireless charging standard and you could sell your silly charger for ten times the competition! Or, I guess that would have been the last straw for a lot of customers after all the sh*t you pulled recently?

    1. Amen. I hate the lightning to USB C cables too. They are pricey and can only be used with other Apple products.

    1. When fast QI chargers from the likes of Anker are only a few dollars, it would have been a hard sell. I suspect they looked at Samsung’s sales figures and have up.

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