AirPower pad saddled with characteristic Apple delays
Overheating. Crossing wires. A proprietary, yet intercompatible charging standard. Those are just some of the worries Apple’s teams have been sorting out especially since the company announced the AirPower wireless charging mat. There has been no promotion of it since the pad was announced with the iPhone X and other devices in the fall.
Engineers are getting frustrated with the roadblocks and at least one employee is willing to risk prosecution to leak to Bloomberg what Apple wants out of its AirPower mat. One thing in particular would be the ability to charge up to three devices — be it an Apple Watch, AirPods or an iPhone — no matter where they are placed on the mat. Doing so requires multiple sensors of different sizes laid across a very compact surface, thus risking thermal overrun and complicating the circuitry.
Firmware has proven to also be tricky as it is basically a boiled-down version of iOS. A proprietary charging standard is being worked out to allow for Qi compatibility, though it is unclear if standard Qi-equipped devices will be able to take charge from the AirPower pad. Multiple persons claim bug culling to be a big time consumers here, pushing a release date far past June, perhaps coming into September when the newest iPhones launch.
While analysts say that Apple is perpetuating bad practice in announcing products that may launch far into the future, it does have a larger vision for a buttonless, portless iPhone working in its favor and that in itself could keep customers interested.