It’s 2019, which means that Apple has officially missed its promised release deadline for the AirPower wireless charging mat.
The charging accessory was first teased at Apple’s iPhone X keynote event in September 2017. At the time, the company said that the Apple-designed charging mat would be “coming in 2018.”
Of course, 2018 came and went without an AirPower release. Apple hasn’t offered any updates on the AirPower delay and, at one point, the Cupertino tech giant scrubbed all mention of the charging mat from its website.
There has been strangely little clarification as to the device’s ultimate fate, but there is some evidence that it hasn’t been scrapped completely.
- AirPower is still mentioned in the user guides for Apple’s iPhone XS, XS Max and XR devices, as well as on the Apple Watch Series 3 specifications page.
- Some recent Apple job listings and patent applications also reference the charging mat.
Last year, a report suggested that Apple has faced critical engineering challenges with AirPower — including problems with the mat overheating.
Developer Steve Troughton-Smith tweeted a few days ago that Apple has “finally fixed” those issues and could ship it “whenever (it) wants,” which could suggest an upcoming release.
Similarly, back in October, TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo wrote that Apple could launch AirPower in late 2018, or within the first quarter of this year. That release window ends on March 31, 2019.
It’s also worth noting that Apple prominently teased AirPower alongside a new generation of AirPods with a Qi-compatible wirelessly chargeable case. The delay is likely one reason that AirPods 2, with the aforementioned case, has also yet to be released.
If and when AirPower does eventually ship, there isn’t much concrete information on how much it’ll cost. Some rumors indicate a retail price around $140 to $200 in the U.S.
What is more certain is the fact that AirPower will launch in an already crowded Qi-based wireless charging market, where there are plenty of third-party solutions at price points that will most likely undercut the Apple-designed accessory.
Still, there is a full year’s worth of keynote events to look forward to. Hopefully, we’ll know more about AirPower’s fate as the year goes on.