Apple only has a few days left to release its AirPower charging mat within its announced timeframe. Whether it will is the question.
The first-party wireless charging accessory was first announced back in September 2017 — more than a year ago.
Granted, that was a “sneak peek” and Apple only said it would come out sometime in 2018. But the year is almost over and AirPower is still MIA, likely due to significant engineering problems.
That leaves a couple of options for Apple, as 9to5Mac’s Zac Hill points out.
Apple could make some sort of announcement about AirPower, saying that it’s delayed and will ship sometime next year. Apple will likely downplay the delay even though more than a year has gone by without any sort of update.
Apple could also surprise everyone by releasing AirPower via press release sometime between now and Dec. 31. But if AirPower was ready to launch, it stands to reason that Apple would have announced something at its two fall keynotes.
On the other hand, Hall notes that there is a precedent for Apple meeting its release deadlines at the very last minute. The company is no stranger to product delays, either.
AirPower could also be completely scrapped. If that was the case, Apple may not make an announcement at all.
Back in October, TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that Apple may launch AirPower in late 2018 or the first quarter of 2019. By the looks of it today, the latter case may be a likelier option.
But there is, of course, the question of whether consumers will respond to AirPower — or if there’s even a market for their charging accessory.
That’s particularly true since Qi-based chargers, even ones that can charge multiple devices, are widely available. Those third-party solutions are also likely quite a bit cheaper than whatever price point Apple ends up giving to AirPower.
AirPower’s main strength is that it will be able to charge Apple Watches, something that most (but not all) Qi chargers can’t do. That may be true for the AirPods charging case, as well. But for it to compete, Apple will need to release it first.