Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images
During Apple’s event last year where they unveiled the iPhone 8 and X, they also took the wraps off a new wireless charging pad called AirPower that could charge three devices at once. This meant you could place your new iPhone, an Apple Watch Series 3, and your AirPods on the same pad and have them all simultaneously charge. While Apple said the device would go up for sale in 2018, we still have yet to see any signs pointing to a launch. A new report out of Bloomberg, however, indicates we might not be too far away from seeing the accessory land on the market.
The report states Apple was met with some technical hurdles while developing AirPower, with engineers originally hoping for a launch in June. Unfortunately, issues surrounding overheating and the complexity of the circuitry inside the device got in the way. But now, it appears these problems have been resolved as Apple is aiming to launch the accessory this September, a full year after it was originally unveiled.
Apple didn’t say when in 2018 it would release AirPower, but engineers hoped to launch the charger by June. The aim now is to put it on sale before or in September, according to one of the people. In recent months, some Apple engineers have ramped up testing of the device by using it as their charger at the office, another person said.
With the eventual launch of AirPower, it looks more and more likely Apple is pushing toward a future where their smartphones are completely portless. The company is even said to have considered removing the Lightning port on the iPhone X, but wireless charging is still a lot slower than charging over a traditional cable and including a wireless charger in the box with an iPhone would increase the price even more.
Apple designers eventually hope to remove most of the external ports and buttons on the iPhone, including the charger, according to people familiar with the company’s work. During the development of the iPhone X, Apple weighed removing the wired charging system entirely. That wasn’t feasible at the time because wireless charging was still slower than traditional methods. Including a wireless charger with new iPhones would also significantly raise the price of the phones.
In the end, it’s clear Apple is still pushing to deliver the wireless future it desires. Of course, all of the information shared in today’s Bloomberg report should be taken with a grain of salt since none of it has been confirmed, but expect to hear more on the topic in the coming months.
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