A third report is backing up rumors of a potential March launch for Apple’s new AirPower charging mat.
The Apple-designed wireless charging accessory could be unveiled by “the end of March,” according to supply chain sources cited by DigiTimes on Tuesday. The supplier sources said they expect their shipments to Apple to double in 2018’s first quarter, before rising throughout the second quarter.
DigiTimes added that AirPower could sport a maximum charging performance of up to 29 watts. That’s significantly higher than other charging pads currently on the market, which typically top out at 7.5W of charging performance. Presumably, the extra charging performance is what allows the accessory to charge multiple devices at once.
The report corroborates previous rumors about AirPower launching in March. Last month, a tipster within Best Buy told The Apple Post that the Cupertino tech giant could launch its first wireless charging accessory next month, both at its own retail outlets and at third-party big box chains and Apple Authorized Resellers. Later in February, Mac Otakara reported that its own sources within Apple’s supply chain confirmed the March launch window.
In addition to the charging mat, the Best Buy tipster said that Apple will also launch its second-generation AirPods case, which will have wireless charging capabilities and will be compatible with AirPower. Interestingly, the standalone AirPods case will reportedly only be available through Apple Stores and Apple.com. At third-party retailers, it’ll come packaged with AirPods, the tipster said.
AirPower was first unveiled as a surprise announcement at Apple’s fall keynote last September. The wireless charging accessory is based on the Qi standard, but its standout feature will be its ability to charge multiple compatible devices at once. During its initial launch, that’ll include the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X, as well as the Apple Watch S3 and the aforementioned second-gen AirPods case.
It’s not currently clear how much AirPower will retail for, but a potential leak by a Polish online retailer could suggest that it would be priced in the $140 to $199 range in the U.S.
Similarly, it’s not known whether Apple will unveil the new product at a March event, or whether it will simply update its online store alongside a press release. If it is unveiled at a media event, we’ll likely see press invitations sent this week at the latest.