The long-awaited AirPower wireless charger by Apple may finally appear in market in September following astonishing disclosures about the reasons for this extraordinary delay.
Bloomberg reports that the AirPower, announced alongside the iPhone X in 2017, has been delayed because of numerous “technical hurdles,” including overheating, problems with circuitry and software requiring additional engineering time. The report claimed, the problems have arisen from Apple essentially overengineering the device.
Previous rumors suggested Apple would launch AirPower in March, but a WWDC keynote and an iPad education event both came and went without any mention of this wireless charging system. According to Bloomberg, Apple is now aiming to start selling its AirPower wireless charging mat before or in September.
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman said:
“Apple didn’t say when in 2018 it would release AirPower, but engineers hoped to launch the charger by June. The aim now is to put it on sale before or in September, according to one of the people. In recent months, some Apple engineers have ramped up testing of the device by using it as their charger at the office, another person said.”
Among the issues, the number one problem is AirPower’s ability to charge up to three different Apple devices at once, specifically an iPhone, an Apple Watch and AirPods. These devices with different-sized batteries require different charging sensors. Rather than allocating specific space on the pad for each device, the tech giant instead has been trying to merge the sensors into one, allowing users to place any of their devices anywhere on the pad.
The second issue, says the report, is that a custom chip designed by Apple runs a bare bones version of its iOS to manage on-device power management and pairing with devices being charged. The chip, along with software bugs, causes the AirPower to overheat.
Wireless battery charges do not normally require processors and OS to work. Apple uses a Qi-standard base station charger, which contains power transmitter made up of a transmitting coil that produces an oscillating magnetic field that charges a device in its range.
The report also claims Apple is considering removing the Lightning Port from the iPhone X completely.
It makes sense for the company to push the AirPower release date to September. By doing so, Apple will have a chance to reintroduce the device alongside this year’s iPhone and iPad Pro product lines. Each is expected to feature wireless charging capabilities, while the iPad Pro will offer it for the first time.