Apple pulls plug on AirPower wireless charging mat


On Friday, Apple said it is canceling the AirPower wireless charging mat the company announced in 2017 on the same day as its iPhone X, a rare public retreat for the gadget maker known for splashy product launches.
The mat was intended to wirelessly charge up to three Apple products simultaneously, such as an iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods wireless headphones.

While wireless charging has spread through the gadget industry, charging three devices simultaneously with higher wattage, “fast charging,” has proved challenging. Furniture seller Ikea, for example, sells a $60 matt that can handle three phones, but it only features slower 5-watt charging.
In a statement, Apple said that it had concluded that its AirPower mat “will not achieve our high standards.”

“We apologize to those customers looking forward to this launch,” Dan Riccio, Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Engineering, said in the statement. “We continue to believe that the future is wireless and are committed to pushing the wireless experience forward.”

The announcement was a rare move for Apple, known in the electronics industry for keeping tight wraps on product plans until it publicly launches them at splashy events in Silicon Valley. The early announcement of AirPower and a wirelessly charged version of its AirPods headphones was a break in that tradition. Apple released the updated AirPods last week, heightening speculation that the accompanying charging mat would come soon.
Daring Fireball, a website covering Apple news, previously reported that Apple engineers had issues with devices overheating on the AirPower pad. Apple declined to comment beyond its statement on the project.

Apple offered wireless charging in the iPhone in 2017 after many of its rivals, such as Samsung Electronics, had offered the feature for several years. While rumors circulated that Apple might create its own unique wireless charging technology, the company instead chose to use a system that works with Qi, an open industry standard used by Samsung and others.

Apple shares did not move on the news, and claims of NXP Semiconductors and STMicroelectronics, two major suppliers of Qi systems, also appeared to be unaffected.