Even amid the many surprises Apple had to show us during its fall products launch event last Tuesday, the company still managed to slip in the ultra low-key announcement of its entirely new accessory — the upcoming AirPower wireless charging mat.
Boasting a simple, flat, yet elegantly-refined finish, Apple’s engineers have custom-designed AirPower so that it can wirelessly charge up to three (3) compatible products simultaneously via the universal Qi standard.
For example, with AirPower users can wirelessly charge an Apple Watch, an iPhone X, 8 or 8 Plus, and the company’s upcoming wireless charging-capable AirPods case at the same time, on the same conductive charging surface.
AirPower is certain to benefit those who own, or who ultimately come to own, more than one of Apple’s new Qi-enabled products. There appears to be some confusion, however, with respect to exactly which of Apple’s products will be compatible with the AirPower charging mat — and so we thought it would be an ideal time to clear up any misconceptions.
Will AirPower Work With Older Apple Watches?
Unfortunately, while they support wireless charging via conduction just like their successor, Apple’s previous-generation wearables (the Apple Watch Series 1 & Series 2) will not be compatible with AirPower.
In their coverage of the upcoming accessory device, some sites have published information indicating that AirPower would be compatible with legacy Apple Watch models — however the company’s own documentation tells a slightly different story. As you can see in the screenshot below, Apple’s online Watch comparison page shows us that while both LTE and non-LTE variants of the Apple Watch Series 3 “Supports AirPower mat,” such is not a feature listed under the older, Apple Watch Series 1.
It’s reasonable to assume, of course, that since they all support wireless charging out of the box, all of Apple’s Watch models would be compatible with AirPower, right? Unfortunately, it appears that Apple Watch Series 3, AirPower, or perhaps both products, feature some sort of special hardware that’s not built into legacy devices.
Apple Watch Series 1 and Series 2 owners who were hoping to adopt AirPower when it launches next year will simply have to keep using their standard Watch charging pods.