Apple enters 2019 with a market capitalization of nearly $750 billion, and while that's not as high as a few months ago, few companies would opt not to trade places with the Cupertino outfit. One of the keys to Apple's ongoing success is its consistency. Unfortunately for Apple. it also enters 2019 with a blemish on its track record, which is having missed its launch time frame for the AirPower, a wireless charging pad for multiple mobile gadgets.
Had things gone to plan, Apple would have launched its AirPower accessory sometime in 2018. Apple SVP Phil Schiller said as much during an iPhone X event in September 2017.
"We hope people love it, that it encourages others to create more advanced solutions based on technology like this. We’re going to be working with the Qi standards team to incorporate these benefits into the future of the standards to make wireless charging better for everyone. So look for the AirPower charger next year," Schiller said at the time.
AirPower is a charging mat that allows users to plop their iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods onto it to charge all three at the same time. Alternatively, a user could simultaneously charge a pair of iPhone handsets on the AirPower.
The charging mat would be a convenient solution for users who have bought into Apple's ecosystem on multiple fronts. So, what's the holdup? John Gruber from Daring Fireball said he heard from multiple sources that the charging mat had a tendency to overheat.
"What I’ve heard, third-hand but from multiple little birdies, is that AirPower really is well and truly f***ed. Something about the multi-coil design getting too hot—way too hot. There are engineers who looked at AirPower’s design and said it could never work, thermally, and now those same engineers have that 'told you so' smug look on their faces," Gruber wrote a few months ago.
It's not clear where things stand with the AirPower mat, and good luck trying to extract any official information from Apple. Rather than talk about it, the company has taken the opposite route and removed references to 'AirPower' on its website. That doesn't mean it will never see the light of the day, though it's certainly a possibility.