Apple has canceled the AirPower product completely, citing difficulty meeting its own standards.
“After much effort, we’ve concluded AirPower will not achieve our high standards and we have cancelled the project. We apologize to those customers who were looking forward to this launch. We continue to believe that the future is wireless and are committed to push the wireless experience forward,” said Dan Riccio, Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Engineering in an emailed statement today.
After a delay of over a year since it was first announced in September of 2017, the AirPower charging mat has become something of a focal point for Apple’s recent habit of announcing envelope tickling products and not actually shipping them on time. The AirPods, famously, had a bit of a delay before becoming widely available, and were shipped in limited quantities before finally hitting their stride and becoming a genuine cultural moment.
AirPower, however, has had far more time to marinate in the soup of public opinion since it was announced. Along with recent MacBook keyboard troubles, this has functioned as a sort of flash point over discussion that something isn’t right with Apple’s hardware processes.
Everything I’ve personally heard (Apple is saying nothing officially) about the AirPower delay has been related to tough engineering problems related to the laws of physics. Specifically, I’ve heard that they ran too hot because the 3D charging coils in close proximity to one another required very, very cautious power management.
This is pretty unheard of when it comes to Apple, and I suspect the company won’t be pre-announcing hardware so far in advance any time soon. That said, I’d rather see the company kill a product than ship something that doesn’t work.
Honestly I am glad Apple made some kind of decision on this. I am sure the AirPower jokes won’t die anytime soon, but I would rather this era of Apple ends poorly than never end at all.
It also pains me to do this but…. #ChrisWasRight.