AirPower was cancelled and then a year or so later rumours started popping up claiming that the company was in fact still working on the project. Now Bloomberg is offering some insight into what Apple’s actually doing - or rather, isn’t doing.
Apparently the AirPower project is now "less ambitious" than it was.
It’s not clear from the report what the less ambitious AirPower will be able to do. However the report is focused on the development of a competing device from a startup that will attempt to do what Apple couldn’t do, and it offers some insight into the problems Apple has faced.
The original AirPower plan called for a unit that would have a "drop anywhere" design that could charge the iPhone, AirPods and Apple Watch together. It seems that the plan was fraught with problems - overheating being one, and an issue where the mat could become ’confused’ about the charge status of the devices on it, according to the report.
That latter issue seems to be affecting the new technology being developed by startup Aira, whose Nomad Base Station Pro is reported to have sometimes paused or slowed charging during tests because "it confused that gadget with another one on the mat that had already finished charging".
Aira’s technology - FreePower - is similar to the idea of AirPower because users don’t need to place devices on a particular part of the mat in order to charge them. However, it won’t be able to charge the Apple Watch. Nor will it be able to show the charging status of other devices.
Read more in the Bloomberg report here.