Overnight, a report concerning the upcoming iPad Pro and its potential wireless charging capabilities was published by the folks at Bloomberg. The report also suggested that Apple is looking to redesign the iPad mini for the first time in years, which is big news in itself as well. Lurking in that report is another interesting morsel, though, as it seems that AirPower may not be entirely dead.
That’s according to Bloomberg at any rate, which notes at the end of its write up concerning the future of the iPad Pro and iPad mini that Apple “is still exploring a future wireless charger that works similarly to its failed AirPower.” Bloomberg’s report doesn’t elaborate on what, specifically, that means, but it seems that maybe Apple hasn’t given up the dream of launching a charging mat that charges multiple devices at once.
AirPower was first announced by Apple in 2017. It was pitched to consumers as a charging mat that could charge up to three devices at once, with enough space to house an iPhone, an Apple Watch, and a pair of AirPods in a wireless charging case, or two iPhones side-by-side. After the announcement of AirPower, months turned into years with no sight of the charging mat.
Then, in 2019, Apple finally decided to cancel AirPower, stating that it would not achieve the company’s high standards. Apple’s original plan was to use overlapping charging coils that would allow users to simply place their devices on the mat without much concern for orientation or lining up those devices perfectly. Unfortunately, those coils generated too much heat to the point where thermals were a major hurdle for AirPower that Apple couldn’t overcome in the end.
Even after pulling the plug on AirPower, it sounds like Apple is still working on making a functional multi-device charging mat, assuming Bloomberg’s report is accurate. We’re also told that Apple is “internally investigating” wireless charging methods that can work over greater distances than your standard wireless charging pad, but Bloomberg says that a product featuring such technology is “likely several years away.” We’ll just have to wait and see what happens from here, but it’s possible that Apple has some interesting wireless charging products in the pipeline.