Apple promised to deliver its first wireless charging mat, called AirPower, in 2018 but for whatever reason, it's yet to see the light of day. Well, there's good news for iPhone and Apple Watch users as fresh rumours suggest that Apple has finally put AirPower into production which means we could expect an announcement sometime this year, at one of Apple's keynotes.
A tweet by ChargerLAB states that accessories manufacturer Luxshare Precision has apparently started production of AirPower and that they've got this news from a credible source in the supply chain, as originally reported by MacRumors. This company is also said to be the same one that manufacturers AirPods and USB-C cables for Apple. ChargerLAB followed that tweet with another, claiming that Taiwanese electronic manufacturer, Pegatron, will also be involved in mass-producing AirPower from January 21.The tweet further states that a company employee has informed ChargerLAB that AirPower will have a total of three coils in a “8-7-7 configuration,” from bottom to top.
Earlier this month, developer Steve Troughton-Smith also tweeted about the fact that he heard that Apple might have fixed the issues they were facing with AirPower, which gives further credence to the new report. The issues in question were mostly related to overheating, according to tipster Sonny Dickson, who claimed that since the AirPower produced a lot of heat, it reportedly affected the Apple's custom charging chip which prevented it from working correctly. The fact that the mat is designed to charge more than one device at a time, seems to pose a bigger challenge for the Cupertino company than they probably had anticipated.
To recall, the Apple AirPower charging mat was first unveiled at the company's iPhone launch event in September 2017 - at the time, the company had said it will be made available in 2018. It was next rumoured to launch in March 2018, but that never came to pass. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, a respected Apple watcher, in June then claimed the delay in launch was thanks to the challenging nature of manufacturing the charging mat.
Following the iPhone XS (Review) launch last year, a mention of the AirPower charging mat was spotted in a getting started guide as well as iOS 12.1 code, tipping its imminent arrival - four months have gone by since then, and yet, there's been no sign. Reliable Apple-focused analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in October predicted the AirPower will arrive at Apple's Spring event in 2019, and that may still come to pass. What we do know of sure of course, is that the AirPower missed its 2018 release window, with nary a comment from Apple.
If the new reports are anything to go by, it seems as if Apple may have finally figured out a solution for the overheating issue. Apple is rumoured to refresh the iPad mini and introduce a new 10-inch iPad in the first half of 2019, so perhaps AirPower will finally make its debut at that venue, along with the promised wireless charging case for the AirPods.