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A video of a seemingly functional AirPower prototype has been shared on Twitter by Apple device collector Giulio Zompetti, in what appears to be a first-of-its-kind look at the elusive charger in action.



The video shows a unique on-screen iOS animation when the iPhone is placed on the AirPower charging mat, which has only previously been seen in Apple's early marketing materials, making it the first time this animation has been seen in the wild. An iPhone on the AirPower charger would have shown the charge of all of the devices that were placed on the pad.

AirPower was an Apple-designed charging mat designed to charge Qi-based iPhones, the Apple Watch, and ‌AirPods‌ that Apple announced in September 2017 alongside the iPhone X. It was designed so that users could place an ‌iPhone‌, ‌AirPods‌, and Apple Watch on any portion of the mat to have the device charge, which meant that multiple overlapping charging coils had to be included.

apple-airpower.jpg

AirPower missed its 2018 launch date, and after a large number of issues with its development, Apple canceled the AirPower project in March 2019.

Photos allegedly depicting the AirPower surfaced on social networks in August 2020, showing a multi-coil design and the device's internal circuirty, but this is the first video footage of a rare and seemingly functional prototype that presumably leaked out of Apple's development supply chain.

According to reliable Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman, Apple is still looking into AirPower-like charging solutions for the future.

Zompetti is an avid collector of Apple prototype devices and has previously shared images of an Apple Watch Series 3 prototype with additional connectors, an original iPad with two 30-pin ports, an iPhone 12 Pro prototype, a third-generation iPod touch with a rear camera, and rare original Apple Watch prototypes.

Article Link: Working AirPower Prototype Shown in Video Clip
 
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siddavis

macrumors 6502a
Feb 23, 2009
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I always liked the thought of this (because of the simplicity) and figured I would want one to charge my three devices just like they show in the product photo. However, I don't think it is a the best practical solution for people with watch bands that would interfere with the watch laying flat on the charging surface. So the pads with integrated/dedicated watch modules seem like the best practical solution.
 

boss.king

macrumors 603
Apr 8, 2009
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Unless I'm missing something, that could just be any old wireless charging puck in an AirPower shaped housing, right? They only show it charging one device and the device isn't even moved from its original position.
 
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DeanL

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May 29, 2014
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Probably wouldn't work with iPhone 12 because the magnets around the coil interferes with multiple coil chargers...
 

TwoBytes

macrumors 68040
Jun 2, 2008
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Too late for Apple. They missed the boat (wireless hover craft thingy…oh dear lame pun)
as the industry is saturated with wireless solutions.
 

lazyrighteye

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Jan 16, 2002
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I never fully bought the 3-coil overheating challenges that were tossed about as reasons why the device never launched (tho I’m certain those were a challenge) - especially considering several other brands cracked that nut. The issue that always stuck out to me was a basic design flaw: an uncharacteristic lack of consideration for watch bands that prevented a watch to rest flat. It mat be possible they couldn’t land on a functional design that also scratched their clean aesthetic itch.

Anyway, I agree: that ship has sailed. Plenty of other vendors making this product - which yes, I know, has never stopped Apple. If anything, I could see them adding a third panel to their current MagSafe Duo (trio?), and call it good.
 

topdownjimmy

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Jun 6, 2017
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I never fully bought the 3-coil overheating challenges that were tossed about as reasons why the device never launched (tho I’m certain those were a challenge) - especially considering several other brands cracked that nut. The issue that always stuck out to me was a basic design flaw: an uncharacteristic lack of consideration for watch bands that prevented a watch to rest flat. It mat be possible they couldn’t land on a functional design that also scratched their clean aesthetic itch.

Anyway, I agree: that ship has sailed. Plenty of other vendors making this product - which yes, I know, has never stopped Apple. If anything, I could see them adding a third panel to their current MagSafe Duo (trio?), and call it good.
Who's making charging pads that don't depend on your putting devices in precise locations?

*Edit:* I guess Nomad has one, but it doesn't charge the Apple Watch on the same surface. I don't know if "plenty" of other vendors are making it.
 

Deguello

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Jun 29, 2008
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I always liked the thought of this (because of the simplicity) and figured I would want one to charge my three devices just like they show in the product photo. However, I don't think it is a the best practical solution for people with watch bands that would interfere with the watch laying flat on the charging surface. So the pads with integrated/dedicated watch modules seem like the best practical solution.
I have a link band that lies perfectly flat, but I never charge my watch with it on. The other band is a sports loop and it definitely won’t lie flat like that. Do any bands (other than metal ones or the like that curve via hinges and not via the material itself) lie flat like that after they’ve been worn?
 
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SD449

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Jun 6, 2012
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I’ve always wondered how this was meant to work with Apple Watch since the only charger that works is the included puck.

Maybe this was an issue as not even the new MagSafe chargers are compatible with apple watch, maybe the redesign will solve any issues
 

jmgregory1

macrumors 68040
The idea of AirPower in its mat form factor was not very smart. It would be one thing if you could just set your iPhone, Watch and AirPods case down anywhere on your desk or nightstand and have each get charged. But in this small mat form, you aren’t exactly getting to nonchalantly toss your devices down to have them charge. This is especially true when it comes to the Watch if you use any band that is a one piece design (which would require releasing a lug to allow the Watch to lay flat - maybe).

The other thing, which has always bothered me about the common Qi charging mats or pucks, is that you can’t glance at your device, if for example you have it next to your bed. The stand-type chargers are by far a better format for almost all use cases of iPhone and Watch, imho. The only thing they don’t work with is the AirPods cases - I simply plug mine in when I need to charge them every couple of days. I much prefer the MagSafe version of Qi charging, where the magnets fix the iPhone to the charger, so there is no questioning whether it’s secure and charging. I’m currently using a cheap Amazon MagSafe and Watch stand that holds Apple chargers. It’s a clean design and allows for both iPhone and Watch to be viewed at a glance while I’m in bed.
 
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Khedron

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Sep 27, 2013
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Completely pointless now that Apple has gone with MagSafe which is also used for other accessories like car mounts and card holders.
 

lazyrighteye

Contributor
Jan 16, 2002
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Who's making charging pads that don't depend on your putting devices in precise locations?

*Edit:* I guess Nomad has one, but it doesn't charge the Apple Watch on the same surface. I don't know if "plenty" of other vendors are making it.
I wasn’t talking about precise device placement. More that if you have a watch band that doesn’t open to allow the watch to sit flush, like, say, Loop, then Apple’s design was pretty useless. Said another way, I’m not unclasping my Loop every time I need to charge my watch. Considering that’s a daily requirement, that’s a 100% deal breaker for me.

Anyway, a quick search yields dozens of vendors that make wireless pads that charge phones, watches, and AirPods. Some offer similar builds to the all-flat design of AirPower. Some address the shortcomings of the all-flat design.
 
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