Way back in Sept 2017, Apple announced its prodigious device (AirPower), an Apple wireless charger capable of charging iPhone, AirPods and Apple Watch simultaneously. It was supposed to be launched in 2018 however the year passed by and we couldn’t hear any press release. Even Apple wireless charger’s details were removed from the Apple website and when it was not released with AirPods, it gave alarming sights of its death. Now Apple has officially canceled the ‘Apple AirPower’ project and left its fans with no wireless charging option. This half-baked product turned out to be a completely burnt junk, pushed us to move on to other brands for wireless charging instead of waiting for it anymore.
Dan Riccio (SVP Hardware Engineering) confirmed in his statement that Apple AirPower was not achieving high standards of Apple devices and with a series of technical hurdles, it left Apple with no choice but to cancel the Apple AirPower production.
AirPower Features and Specifications
Apple tried to implement various unique features bundled in one device to announce it as the best iPhone charging pad in the market. Apparently, this strategy turned out to be the biggest reason of its failure.
- Built on Qi wireless charging standards to marry Qi devices
- A wireless charging device capable of transmitting wireless power signals to multiple wireless power receiving devices. That means charging in the Air!
- Ability to perceptively manage to charge by letting all compatible devices to connect with each other.
- Built-in tailored Apple chip running on iOS to initiate device power management for pairing devices.
- Self-deciding power consumption feature to manage and decide the power required for an individual device.
- Displaying the charging status of all devices on the iPhone made it quite unique.
Hurdles with AirPower Launch
Apple AirPower came in picture keeping in mind that Apple could help its fans to charge all their devices wirelessly using an Apple wireless charger. During the testing phase, Apple delayed the production due to concerns with AirPods and Apple Watch charging.
- Qi charging was still an issue even with the launch of Series 3 Watches which made the device incompatible with most of the non-Apple chargers.
- AirPods still required an additional case for charging worth $69 which was also flagged as the biggest issue.
- Unavailability of hardware parts that were not shipped in time from manufacturers.
- The engineering team encountered numerous challenges ensuring AirPower doesn’t overheat. Apple tried to use 20 – 30 coils in one Pad resulting in overheating devices.
- The placement of multiple sensors on the pad was again a cost-effective and performance hampering challenge to charge 3 devices at the same time. Random positioning required multiple sensors on the pad with different sized charging components.
What Replaces Apple AirPower?
To juice up multiple Apple devices at the same time, there are other innovative brands that can do wonders as cited by Apple for AirPower. We’ve done the research for you though it was truly difficult to find an alternative to AirPower. There are devices that are cheap, listed with bad reviews and some with incapability of charging your favorite Apple Watch. With a few of them, you may need to fiddle a bit and find the right positioning to fuel up your Apple devices. The good news is, all these below devices cost much lesser than what Apple could have quoted for AirPower.
- NOMAD Base Station (Apple Watch Edition)
NOMAD offers a range of wireless chargers however its ‘Base Station – Apple Watch Edition’ got relief from AirPower. Just with 100 bucks, you may enjoy Base Station offering 2 Qi wireless charging pads and 2 USB wired charging ports. Wireless charging sheds out 10W of power however wired ports to pump up 7.5W (USB) and 18W (USB-C) energy. On the other hand, Apple Watch Edition cost up to $139.95 without any of the USB Ports. The best part is, you can charge all 3 devices wirelessly with its 3-coil system at the same time.
- Belkin BOOST?UP – Special Edition Wireless Charging Dock
Belkin Boost is again a very trusted and renowned device. It offers a multi-device charging station for Apple iPhone and Apple Watch simultaneously connecting a third USB device. The good part is you can rest your iPhone on the Prop-up-stand for charging however you can’t charge your AirPods wirelessly. The Boost Up Special Wireless Charging Dock is for $160 which is like the style with scissors. Though it also offers less classy wireless chargers ranging between $120 to $140 with fewer features.
- Samsung Wireless Charger Duo
A world-class company launched its own wireless charger compatible with all Qi devices winning the heart of millions of consumers. It ranges around $100 – $120 which is still lesser than NOMAD and Belkin supports all Samsung Phones, Notes, Gear including Apple iPhone 8 and above, and AirPods. The disadvantage is you can’t charge Apple Watch on this device.
- ZENS Dual + Watch Aluminium Wireless Charger
Not so popular but a very stylish and sharp looking wireless charger offered by a European company which ships worldwide. This multi coiled, 3-device wireless charging pad is priced for $110 supporting all Qi compatible smartphones and Apple Watch. Its total output is 20W which is the best replacement for Apple AirPower. The only disadvantage is the company is new and is on the verge of building trust.
- SliceCharge 2 Wireless Charging Mat
SliceCharge 2 comes with 3 coils for charging which may charge either 2 smartphones OR 1 phone and 1 AirPod along with Apple Watch. A less stylish but slim and affordable option for wireless charging with 7.5W wireless energy for your iPhone. It is pocket-friendly and comes only for $60.
Nevertheless, it’s shocking to hear the death of AirPower however we can settle with other featured options for wireless charging. As they say, every minute there is an invention happening in the technology world, Maybe Apple will also come up with a wireless charging solution but this time they should announce it only if it is packed ready to ship from the factory.