Daring Fireball’s John Gruber has commented on the conspicuous absence of Apple’s promised AirPower wireless charger at last week’s iPhone and Apple Watch event. Gruber notes that nobody he spoke at Apple to was even willing to discuss it off the record, and even points out that Apple avoided any mention of inductive charging during the event, despite improved charging speeds on the new 2018 iPhone models.
AirPower must be well and truly fucked. No one at Apple will say a word about it, even off the record. And as a result they didn’t even mention inductive charging during the event, even though the XS and XR both charge faster than the X. — John Gruber (@gruber) September 12, 2018
In a longer follow-up post on the Apple event, published yesterday, Gruber adds that he has heard third-hand information from multiple sources that Apple engineers ran into problems with the multi-coil design overheating, and that despite warnings from some of the engineering team last year, Apple chose to try and push ahead with trying to make it work, but have had no success in doing so. Gruber suggests that Apple has either “had to go completely back to the drawing board and start over with an entirely different design” or they’ve decided to scrap the product entirely and would rather simply pretend it never existed in the first place, as also evidenced by Apple’s almost wholesale scrubbing of all references to AirPower from its website. Gruber also adds that the debacle with AirPower may also be responsible for delaying the new AirPods with the wireless charging case, although recent rumours have suggested that the new case may be Qi-compatible, although it’s unclear whether this was part of Apple’s original strategy or is a revision to bring a wireless AirPods charging case to market that’s not dependent on AirPower.