AirPower: Everything We Know

Discussion in 'Guides, How Tos and Reviews' started by MacRumors, Jan 15, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    What is AirPower?

    AirPower is an Apple-designed charging mat designed to charge Qi-based iPhones, the Apple Watch, and the AirPods, using a specially designed AirPods Wireless Charging Case, which Apple introduced in March 2019.

    Apple's AirPower is proprietary and combines at least two different wireless charging methods -- Qi and then the Apple Watch charger, which is inductive and not Qi based.


    It's designed so that you can place an iPhone, AirPods, or Apple watch on any portion of the mat to have the device charge, which means multiple overlapping chargers must be included.

    The AirPower mat is big enough to charge all three devices at one time, with the AirPower itself connected to an external power source, perhaps using a USB-C cable.

    In Apple's renderings, AirPower also had a feature that let the iPhone display the wireless charging level of all of the devices on the mat, including the iPhone itself, the Apple Watch, and the AirPods.

    Where is AirPower?

    AirPower missed its 2018 launch date, and while Apple has been quiet on the reason why, rumors have suggested there were serious manufacturing issues and kinks to be worked out.

    Apple was forced to delay the AirPower after having trouble dealing with the complex multi-device charging circuitry, software bugs, and the potential for overheating.

    Over the course of 2018, Apple has been working out kinks including heat management, inter-device communication, and interference issues, and there were times during development where rumors suggested Apple could potentially be planning to nix the AirPower, but there have been consistent mentions in 2018 iPhone packaging, and recently an image of the AirPower with an iPhone XS was spotted on Apple's website.


    Apple doesn't appear to have given up on the AirPower, and new information even suggests a launch could be on the horizon.

    When Will AirPower Launch?

    Apple announced AirPower in September 2017 alongside the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X, and said at the time that it would launch sometime in 2018.

    The end of 2018 has come and gone, and Apple has given no further official info on when the AirPower will debut.

    A recent rumor from Apple's supply chain in China has suggested the manufacturing issues have been solved. According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple approved production of the AirPower earlier this year, which suggests it could be coming soon.

    Code found within iOS 12.2, an update set to be released on March 25, suggests that Apple is gearing up to launch the AirPower in the near future. Apple also recently obtained the AirPower trademark, seemingly purchasing it from the company that owned it before. DigiTimes recently said we can expect the AirPower in late March.

    What Will AirPower Cost?

    Apple never announced pricing for the AirPower, but there have been some guesses. Chinese "industry insiders" in August 2018 suggested the AirPower could cost somewhere around $1,000 Chinese yuan, equivalent to right around $147.

    Back in November 2017, a Polish website suggested the AirPower would cost around 999 z?oty, equivalent to $199.

    Given that both of these rumors came from well before the AirPower was even in production, neither are particularly reliable, but we think it's reasonable to expect a price tag in the neighborhood of $130 to $200 based on the price points of competing wireless charging devices and Apple's accessory pricing in general.

    Which Devices Will Work With AirPower?

    [*]iPhone - All Qi-compatible iPhones will work with AirPower, which includes iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR.
    [*]AirPods - Using AirPower with AirPods requires the AirPods Wireless Charging Case, which Apple introduced in March 2019.
    [*]Apple Watch - AirPower will work with the Apple Watch Series 3 and later. It is not compatible with Series 2 and older watches.
    AirPower Rumors

    AirPower was announced in September 2017, and at the time, Apple promised a 2018 launch date. Multiple rumors initially suggested a possible March 2018 release, but March came and went, and there was also no sign of AirPower at WWDC in June or at the September iPhone event.

    After its September iPhone event, Apple wiped almost every mention of the AirPower from its website, and rumors later in September indicated that Apple was having problems with overheating, interference, and software.

    Dire reports suggested the AirPower was doomed to fail if engineers couldn't solve a number of issues plaguing the device, but when the iPhone XS and XS Max launched a bit later in September, we found AirPower documentation, indicating work on the device is still underway.


    In October, we heard the AirPower was going to be released in late 2018 or early 2019, but after Apple's October 30th event came and went with no AirPower mention, it became clear Apple wasn't going to make its 2018 deadline.

    In December, Apple was still mentioning the AirPower in job listings, and then in early January, refreshed rumors hinted that mass production would soon start. AirPower has also been mentioned in the product description for the recently released Smart Battery Case in some countries, and DigiTimes recently said it's still coming "later in 2019."

    MySmartPrice, a site with a mixed track record when it comes to rumors, says that Apple's AirPower will be thicker than expected due to an 8-7-7 coil configuration and that it will launch in spring 2019. Apple is holding a March 25 event, but it's expected to be focused on services and not hardware.

    If Apple plans to launch the AirPower during the spring, its availability may be announced via press release rather than at an event.

    Article Link: AirPower: Everything We Know
  2. Unity451, Jan 15, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019

    Unity451 macrumors regular


    Aug 29, 2011
    I'm pretty sure the iPhone charges via hopes and dreams at this point.
  3. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    I think in order for the Airpower to be successful, the price point has to be right. When you have all these other wireless chargers that are already on the market, a lot of consumers will purchase something sfor their iPhone only. But the unique factor being with Airpower that you can set a device anywhere to charge, I’m not sure that will sway the consumer to want to purchase if the Airpower is overpriced.
  4. Enclavean macrumors regular


    Jun 14, 2018
    Please read this everyone who says AirPower is just a normal qi charger with 3 pads like ikea has
  5. pat500000, Jan 15, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 16, 2019

    pat500000 macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2015
    Too many charging competitors...although thi has the ability to charge many at once....who cares.
  6. magicschoolbus macrumors 65816


    May 27, 2014
    There are so many third party chargers out there at this point.... will anyone care? I mean, it’s likely to be overpriced and it’s already late to market.. I get the appeal but just don’t understand how this can be labeled as a success.
  7. Ghost31 macrumors 68020


    Jun 9, 2015
    The fact that my iPhone is practically dead is probably a bad sign for apple and their hopes and dreams then
  8. Relentless Power, Jan 15, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 16, 2019

    Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    It’s not just about that this can charge more devices at once, you can also set the device anywhere you want on the Airpower for it to charge versus having a direct contact point like other wireless chargers.
  9. 0s and 1s macrumors 6502a

    0s and 1s

    Mar 7, 2004
    OK, USA
  10. Pepe4life macrumors regular


    Nov 15, 2018
    Based on the pricing of the battery cases released today, it’d be delusional to think that Apple will price the AirPower reasonably.
  11. munpip214 macrumors member

    Feb 21, 2011
    True, although the airpods, when they were released, were fairly reasonable, so who knows. Apple's mantra in the last year is to raise prices of everything because we can.
  12. giggles macrumors 6502

    Dec 15, 2012
    The question is: will iPad Mini 5 support airpower?
  13. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    .....I think a strong one, because there were two reports that the Airpower started production in China. So it’s very possible we might see a release soon, and it might be random, just like when they released the battery case for the XS today.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 15, 2019 ---
    I’m thinking somewhere between $129.00-$150.00. Traditionally, Apples accessories have always been overly priced.
  14. Manzzle macrumors regular


    Jun 11, 2012
    It will still charge very slowly.

    Your better off getting a fast charger and a long cable so you could use your phone while it’s charging without being glued to the nearest outlet.
  15. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    I think for the majority who are purchasing their power, they don’t care about the charging rate. They simply want to set their device(s) to charge _anywhere_ on the mat to charge, that’s the advantage with the Airpower.
  16. Mascots macrumors 68000


    Sep 5, 2009
    I think you're overstating a little bit.

    I use wireless chargers pretty much exclusively and the amount of times that I've thought about needing to bust out a cable to charge faster have been few and far been between.
  17. Braderunner macrumors 6502a

    Oct 2, 2015
    What we know: It will be ridiculously priced at $199 ;)
    Keep it.
  18. vmac556 macrumors member

    Nov 11, 2016
    will it charge a apple watch with milanese loop?
  19. btrach144 macrumors 65816


    Aug 28, 2015
    Why would I want to charge my watch laying down? I miss out on nightstand mode.

    And I can't charge my $500 metal loop on it.

    To spend $200, Apple should have solved all these problems. Maybe instead of a flat pad, an angled pad would be better.
  20. dannyyankou macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2012
    Scarsdale, NY
    That dollar sign shouldn’t be there, gave me a heart attack for a second.
  21. now i see it macrumors 68030

    Jan 2, 2002
    What is AirPower?

    An Apple Marketing Boondogle
  22. redneckitengineer, Jan 15, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019

    redneckitengineer macrumors 6502


    Oct 27, 2017
    What is AirPower? “The non-existant attempt to create a smart wireless charging device that was announced well before its technology was invented, similar to ‘Tesla selling it’s sports car years before it’s tech is even possible.’ Where as we will continue to complain or be in awe of it until the actual product is sold.”

  23. pat500000 macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2015
    What is airpower? Does it have any power? Lol
    --- Post Merged, Jan 15, 2019 ---
    What phone?
  24. Bawstun macrumors 65816


    Jun 25, 2009
    They’re going for the ecosystem psyche play. Many users will buy this who have an iPhone only. Or maybe the watch only. Or maybe the iPhone and watch only. But with specifications designed to show you the charging status of 3 devices...

    Eventually you would start to feel like you’re missing out...and need those however many other devices. It’s going to hook people into trying the watch or AirPods would be my guess.
  25. svenning macrumors newbie


    Mar 13, 2015
    Los Angeles
    Feels Like a typical kickstarter product. Delayed, zero communication and probably not going to have the features originally promised :(

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