Report Claims AirPower 'Doomed to Failure' Unless Apple Can Resolve Multiple Ongoing Engineering Issues

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Sep 17, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Despite the promise of a 2018 release date, Apple's long-awaited AirPower wireless charging mat remains unavailable, and almost all mentions of the device were last week removed from its website. This has prompted speculation over what could be behind the delay - and even whether the AirPower, which was announced over a year ago, will ever see the light of day.


    Previous reports have touched upon the technical issues Apple has run into with the AirPower's design, but a new report published on Sunday by Sonny Dickson claims several pieces of exclusive information that shed light on the challenges Apple is still facing with the device, which is designed to charge the iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods all at once.

    According to the report's multiple internal sources, many of those working on the AirPower project believe the device may be "doomed to failure" unless engineering solutions can be found for a host of currently unresolved issues, which include:
    Heat management
    Buggy inter-device communication
    Mechanical and interference issues
    Aside from heat and interference shielding, the report notes that the complexity of the circuitry in the device is also posing a significant challenge, which may not be overcome unless the device is redesigned to be slightly thicker and larger. However, Apple is said to be "unwilling to make compromises" on the AirPower's overall design.

    Wrapping up, Dickson holds out hope that the AirPower could still debut before the end of the year, but claims that "the broad consensus among engineers suggests that this is highly unlikely".

    Indeed, Dickson says chatter he's heard "less notable individuals involved with the project" suggest that the AirPower concept and trademark could eventually be applied to an all-new product with other unmentioned features, to be publicly shown at an undisclosed date "not likely to occur before Spring".

    For those who remain steadfastly optimistic about the AirPower, Apple has a few more months to meet its self-imposed 2018 deadline for the device, so it's still possible we'll see the device debut via press release in October, November, or December.

    Article Link: Report Claims AirPower 'Doomed to Failure' Unless Apple Can Resolve Multiple Ongoing Engineering Issues
  2. Xgm541 macrumors 65816

    May 3, 2011
    Personally I prefer this never launches than it launching as a sub par product.
  3. MrGimper macrumors 603


    Sep 22, 2012
    Andover, UK
    I've not read the article, but you'd have thought they'd been like 90% of the way into testing before announcing this thing.
  4. Steve121178 macrumors 601


    Apr 13, 2010
    Bedfordshire, UK
    I have my RavPower wireless fast charger, so I'm good. Apple are too late to the wireless charging party...
  5. Blackstick macrumors 6502a


    Aug 11, 2014
    Sunny South Florida
    I don’t think it’s ever going to see the light of day.
  6. Mydel macrumors 6502a


    Apr 8, 2006
    Sometimes here mostly there
    With that level of complication the price would be way beyond acceptable levels. Wireless charging as it is now I find completely useless. There is no difference for me if i place phone or watch on the mat or hook it up via cable. I charge overnight anyway. Not to mention that efficiency is very low what directly translates to loss of power.
    That technology is not promising. Once the real wireless technology will be available I will maybe change my mind. Lets say 3m range.
  7. frifra macrumors 6502a


    Nov 29, 2008
    Makes you wonder why they never announced the apple car, which won't be coming either. :)
  8. steeevo macrumors member

    Jan 23, 2018
    Why not mention it last week. Just admit theres a hold up so people can stop second guessing
  9. recoil80 macrumors 68020

    Jul 16, 2014
    I'd rather have a smaller pad capable of charging a single device for a start. Apple Watch is not Qi compatible so every time I go on vacation I need to bring two cables and at least one plug. Even when I'm at home I need to charge my Watch on the only place where I have the stand capable of charging.
    I'd be willing to pay a premium for an Apple pad since I won't need the separate cable for the Watch (is isn't cheap at all) I don't really care about charging multiple devices at one. I mean, is cool, but if they can't find a way to do it properly they could just release a simple version.
  10. walnuts macrumors 6502a

    Nov 8, 2007
    Brooklyn, NY
    You know, while I think they should be more careful in the future, given that they make this sort of mistake almost never, I think it would be better (for Apple as a company and the customers) for them to just admit in some sort of press release that they bit off more than they could chew here are will table this until they could work out some more of the tech. They might be tempted to pretend they never make mistakes, but for me, admitting this one would do much more for their credibility here. Unless they really have figured this out, I think some sort of acknowledgement is inevitable ... better to get out in front.
  11. neuropsychguy macrumors 65816


    Sep 29, 2008
    Lesson: don't announce hardware products unless they are launch-ready.
  12. AgentOSX macrumors member


    Sep 4, 2017
    I don’t particularly care. I have every Apple device but this is one I would skip. It’s not like there is some sort of charging crisis going on. This was eye candy at best, a solution to a problem that didn’t exist.
  13. zetti macrumors 6502a


    Oct 19, 2012
    Announcing a product well in advance of a possible release seems like it is doomed to fail.
  14. ChrisMoBro macrumors 6502


    Oct 31, 2016
    So they’d rather compromise on the quality just to make it thinner and smaller even if this results in massive issues with heat... so basically it’s the same as their computers then
  15. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    I don't understand the point of the product anyway. You can already go on Amazon and buy something similar for $20. They're not really breaking any new ground here.
  16. MacWorld78 macrumors 6502


    Jul 25, 2012
    well, i find hard to believe they have some issues of the following list where they have the best & smartest engineering in the world.

    Buggy inter-device communication
    interference issues

    or could be another clever marketing strategy to lure as much as people to buy iPhone 8/x wireless charging feature?
  17. AppleMark macrumors 6502a


    Jun 17, 2009
    The CCTV Capital of the World

    Also at the price point Apple is likely to want to place this product (based on other Apple products), you would arguably be best suited with 2, or even 3 mats for the same price and as easily found on Amazon etc right now and getting cheaper and plentiful every couple of months.
  18. il8on macrumors newbie

    Oct 31, 2016
    I proclaim myself as one of Apple’s biggest fans but I glad this product is facing these challenges and uncertainty. ABOUT TIME! I miss the days projects were kept close to vest and magical products like this weren’t announced until they were available. I still plan to purchase two AirPower devices but my hope is it makes Apple be more cautious and thorough before announcing products and announcing release dates.
  19. maxfromdenmark macrumors regular


    May 8, 2011
    well, maybe this story learns Apple something about announcing fantasy devices.
  20. Eriamjh1138@DAN macrumors 6502a


    Sep 16, 2007
    BFE, MI
    The overlapping coil design sounds great in concept, but coils that drive a signal creates a signal in other coils. Interference is the key word. This product may be physically (due to physics) impossible to build.

    I imagine spacing the coils out created dead spots. What good is a mat you can place your devices anywhere if there are dead spots? It’s not anywhere any more.

    Overheating means too much power loss in the coils. Inefficient means energy isn’t going into your phone or watch but instead is wasted. It also means slower charging.

    Apple was wise not to say anything about this product and has learned a lesson. Never promise a future product that’s not fully developed.

    Remember the 3GHz G5 PowerMac? Steve Jobs did.
  21. Enclavean macrumors regular


    Jun 14, 2018
    Am I the only one who was looking forward to a pad where you could actually put your phone anywhere?

    And those $20 “put-them-in-this-x-only” pads don’t count
  22. lambertjohn macrumors 6502a

    Jun 17, 2012
    Why even bother? Just stick to the old fashioned way of charging devices: a 100% reliable, power cord.
  23. Marshall73 macrumors 65816


    Apr 20, 2015
    Apple tried to create a multi-device interface to give meaningful info on device charging rather than being a dumb charging device. I suspect that it is this aspect that is causing the issues and agreeing this functionality with the Qi charging standard members is the sticking point.
  24. MrGimper macrumors 603


    Sep 22, 2012
    Andover, UK
    I bet most people would be buying it because they just want all the fancy animations that you don't get with a more affordable, released, wireless charging solution
  25. DNichter macrumors G3


    Apr 27, 2015
    Philadelphia, PA
    Fine by me if it doesn't ever come. I think this will also force Apple to be 100% sure of a product before announcing early again, which is best as well. Hopefully they turn the AirPower name into a product that actually charges wirelessly, with no pad needed.

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