In a report outlining Apple’s wireless charging ambitions, Gurman says that Apple is “still exploring” a wireless charger that would charge multiple devices like an iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods all at once.
Apple first announced the AirPower in September 2017 alongside the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and iPhone X, and said that the charging product would launch sometime in 2018. No AirPower materialized in 2018 and after months of rumors of development issues, Apple canceled the project in March 2019.
The AirPower failed because Apple engineers were unable to solve multiple bugs affecting the device, including interference problems and issues with overheating. In 2020 alongside the iPhone 12, Apple instead unveiled MagSafe, a magnetic wireless charging alternative.
Since the AirPower was canceled, there have been persistent rumors that Apple is still working on some kind of charging mat, but most have been nebulous. Gurman’s report is the clearest hint we’ve had yet that some kind of AirPower-like device could still come out in the future.
In addition to a wireless charger that’s similar to the AirPower, Apple is also said to be “internally investigating” alternative wireless charging methods that can work over greater distances. Work on long range charging is in the early stages, though, and it’s likely to be several years before we see any kind of new long-range wireless charging technology from Apple.