It’s been more than a year since AirPower was first announced, and the wireless charging accessory is still MIA. But there have been some recently discovered clues that hint that AirPower is still on the way.
AirPower actually gets a shoutout in the new manuals that come with Apple’s recently launched iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max devices, as was recently pointed out by Twitter user Gavin Stephens.
The manual reads that the new iPhones can be charged by placing “iPhone with screen facing up on AirPower or a Qi-certified wireless charger.”
Additionally, 9to5Mac’s Guilherme Rambo discovered code hidden within iOS 12.1 that suggests AirPower is still under development over in Cupertino.
Specifically, Rambo wrote that the “component of iOS responsible for managing the charging interface that appears when using AirPower has been updated.” That, of course, means that Apple is still working on the wireless charging accessory.
Both of these clues offer a bit of hope that AirPower hasn’t been completely scrapped, which some Apple watchers have suggested.
For one, Apple didn’t even mention Qi-based wireless charging at its Gather Round event — despite the fact that all three new iPhones will support it. CNET also recently pointed out that Apple has scrubbed its entire website of any mention of the wireless charging accessory.
More than that, Apple journalist John Gruber recently tweeted that nobody at the company will talk about AirPower, even off-the-record.
That’s likely due to the fact that Apple’s engineers have reportedly run into significant technical issues. Reports indicate that Apple is having trouble with AirPower overheating, among other problems.
Presumably, AirPower’s development bottlenecks are due to the complexity of the device itself. It doesn’t use three separate Qi charging pads. Instead, it uses an element of the Qi standard itself that allows devices to juice up on any portion of a charging surface.
When Apple announced AirPower, it said that the accessory would debut in 2018. We’re still technically within that window, but the company is quickly running out of time to get the product to market by the end of the year.
Still, Apple probably wouldn’t have included references to AirPower in its iPhone XS packaging or in iOS 12.1 if the project was completely dead.
In other words, we’ll probably still see Airpower. We just have no idea when.