AirPower Is Dead, But This Company Plans to Make What Apple Couldn’t

Airpower Announcement Apple Event Phil Schiller Credit: Apple
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Since AirPower was canceled, there hasn’t really been any solution that offers the same capabilities that Apple promised with the device. Now, accessory maker Zagg hopes to change that.

Zagg, the parent company of Mophie, told Bloomberg at CES 2020 that it is currently developing a wireless charging mat that will allow users to place their Qi-compatible devices anywhere on its surface and get a charge. That was the key feature of Apple’s doomed AirPower.

While there are charging mats on the market that can deliver power to an iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods charging case at the same time, those accessories require users to place their devices very precisely on specific charging coils.

Frequent Qi wireless charging mat users probably know that coil placement can be finicky. More than that, improperly placed devices on a wireless mat could lead to degraded charging performance, overheating or even battery damage.

That was a problem that Apple hoped to address with AirPower by using overlapping charging coils, which would have allowed the entire surface to be usable. Ultimately, Apple wasn’t successful.

It isn’t clear how Zagg will overcome the problem with its own charging mat, which it hopes to sell under the Mophie brand.

Similarly, there’s no indication that the mat will be compatible with the Apple Watch, which uses a proprietary offshoot of the Qi standard. If it doesn’t, it wouldn’t be an exact replacement for AirPower.

In any case, Bloomberg reports that the company is currently pitching the accessory to retailers and receiving feedback at the CES conference this week in Las Vegas. So it isn’t clear when it would hit the market. But when (and if) it does, it could prove to be a valuable accessory for any Apple fan or smartphone user.

Mophie is a well-known accessory maker for iPhones and other consumer electronics, and is even sold on Apple’s online storefront. So, while you’re waiting for a Mophie AirPower clone, you could try other wireless or wired charging solutions by the company.

Zagg is also said to be developing long-distance wireless charging that could power devices from several feet away — a tech that Apple has also been looking into. That technology is at least several years away, however.

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