The news is out that Apple is looking to release its multi-device AirPower charging mat by September, according to a well-connected reporter named Mark Gurman. This comes after it was reported that Apple had faced numerous technical hardware and software challenges with the device.
A Bloomberg News story reported:
Apple didn’t say when in 2018 it would release AirPower, but engineers hoped to launch the charger by June. The aim now is to put it on sale before or in September, according to one of the people. In recent months, some Apple engineers have ramped up testing of the device by using it as their charger at the office, another person said.
Those who keep up to date with Apple products will no doubt know that the company first previewed AirPower alongside the iPhone X in September 2017. However, at this time the company’s marketing chief Phil Schiller said that it wouldn’t be available until 2018.
Gurman claims that Apple had initially hoped for a June launch (presumably at WWDC 18) but technical challenges such as overheating, and software bugs caused it to be delayed.
AirPower is said to include a custom Apple chip “a stripped down version of iOS” for power management and pairing with devices:
The AirPower charger is also more advanced than the current competition because it includes a custom Apple chip running a stripped down version of the iOS mobile operating system to conduct on-device power management and pairing with devices. Apple engineers have also been working to squash bugs related to the on-board firmware, according to the people familiar.
This oval shaped accessory can inductively charge a number of Apple devices including the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, and Apple Watch Series 3. It will also be able to charge AirPods when they are placed in a new, optional charging case. This is something that’s set to launch alongside the AirPower.
The AirPower marks a further step toward Apple’s wireless future. According to Gurman, Apple designers are eventually hoping to “remove most of the external ports and buttons on the iPhone,” and notes that Apple even considered removing the ability to charge the iPhone X with a wire but decided wireless charging capabilities were not yet fast enough.