Apple’s long-awaited AirPower wireless charging mat may not be dead after all. At least, that’s if a new rumor turns out to be true.
Charging tech news site ChargerLAB reported in a tweet that Apple has kicked off mass production of AirPower, citing a “credible source” within the Cupertino tech giant’s supply chain. That source indicates that Apple has tapped China-based Luxshare Precision to produce the wireless charging mats.
It’s worth noting that Luxshare Precision is already an established player in Apple’s supply chain. The company already produces Apple accessories such as AirPods and first-party USB-C cables.
Luxshare is also a member of the Wireless Power Consortium, the group behind the Qi standard. Previous rumors have also suggested that the firm would produce AirPower alongisde other Apple supply chain partners.
In a follow-up tweet, ChargerLAB reported that another source indicated that Apple supplier Pegatron has also been tapped to begin mass production of AirPower this month.
Hong Kong-based ChargerLAB itself has a pretty credible track record of pinpointing charging accessory release dates. Reportedly, ChargerLAB received its tip through WeChat.
The release of AirPower, of course, is a long time coming. Apple originally teased the device at its iPhone X event in 2017 and promised a release date sometime in 2018. But likely due to significant engineering difficulties related to overheating, Apple missed that release date — and hasn’t provided any sort of comment on its ultimate fate.
Throughout 2018, the company also scrubbed its website of most references to the wireless charging accessory — though some hints that it wasn’t completely dead still remained. Still, the lack of commentary and the removal of those references led many to believe that it had been scrapped.
But this isn’t the first time we’ve heard word of AirPower in the last few weeks. On Dec. 31, developer Steve Trouthton-Smith said in a tweet that he heard word that Apple has overcome its engineering difficulties.
And back in 2018, renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that the firm could release AirPower within the first quarter of 2019.
Apple’s difficulties in getting AirPower to work is also likely the primary reason why the company’s AirPods wireless charging case has also been delayed.
One of the promised standout features of AirPower is the ability to charge an iPhone, an Apple Watch and the aforementioned AirPods case simultaneously.
While there have been many wireless charging pads with similar abilities released in AirPower’s absence, the first-party charging mat should offer tighter integration with Apple’s ecosystem. AirPower will also charge devices no matter where they are placed on the actual charging surface.
There’s currently no word on how much AirPower will cost when it’s released. Some previous rumors have suggested retail prices from $150 up to $270. But based on precedent, a price point below $200 is likely.