In poetic terms, AirPower, Apple’s unreleased wireless charging device is its Achilles heel. Since 2017, the company has been reported to develop and cancel the product due to performance issues multiple times and to date has not been able to perfect its use. Now in the midst of growing competition from third-party wireless charger manufacturers, Bloomberg report that the Cupertino tech giant is working on something a little “less ambitious” AirPower, wireless charger, than what it had planned for.
The publisher states,
“More than a year after AirPower’s demise, Apple is developing a less ambitious wireless charger for the iPhone. But while the Silicon Valley giant works on that product, Aira Inc., a startup based in Chandler, Arizona, this week is rolling out a technology called FreePower that aims to deliver on the original promise of AirPower, and works for devices from different manufacturers, including those from Google and Samsung Electronics Co. — not just Apple.”
FreePower Vs. AirPower
The report credits a new start-up company, Aira for developing a wireless charging product which Apple could not. Called the FreePower, Aira claims to use a new technology that uses thin coils printed in a circuit board instead of Qi’s round coils to charge multiple devices at once. The mat is capable of charging an iPhone and AirPods but not the Apple Watch. Thus, the question arises that has Aira given us a better device than Apple’s canceled AirPower charging mat?
Unfortunately, for the newbie, the answer is no. AirPower was canceled because it could not charge an Apple Watch without overheating. Since the smartwatch has a proprietary charge, it consumes more power than an iPhone and AirPods which resulted in an overheating problem.
In addition, an iPhone charging on FreePower does not show the charge status of other devices on charging, and in a recent test, the wireless charger slowed down the charing of a second device when the first device was completely charged. More or less the third party wireless charger experiences the same issues as Apple canceled AirPower.
Bloomberg does give any detail of the “less ambitious” AirPower like its design, features, or price. Thus, we are assuming that Apple has compromised on wireless charging support of Apple Watch and would release the mat for iPhone and AirPods. Previous reports by tech analysts, Ming-Chi Kuo and Jon Prosser also corroborate Bloomberg’s claims. In January Kuo said that Apple would release a “smaller” wireless mat and Prosser shared a concept design of the improved AirPower.
It goes without saying that reports should be taken with a grain of salt for whatever Apple decides to do or not do, only Apple can confirm.