The Wall Street Journal today reports that Apple approved production of its long-awaited wireless charging mat AirPower earlier this year after facing challenges with developing the accessory. This supports previous supply chain rumors.
From the report:
The company earlier this year approved production of a wireless-charging pad called AirPower, according to people familiar with the matter. It had announced the product in late 2017.
AirPower, which would allow users to charge the new AirPods and an iPhone simultaneously, has been delayed by product-development challenges, the people said. Apple typically announces new products within months of beginning production.
Last month, reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said the AirPower will launch in the first half of 2019 alongside new AirPods, which were announced today, but a specific release date is unclear. Kuo also expects a new iPod touch with a faster processor in the first half of this year, but there has been no sign of one so far this week.
Apple has announced new iPads on Monday, new iMacs on Tuesday, and new AirPods on Wednesday of this week, so it is possible the AirPower could follow on Thursday or Friday, but no reliable rumors have indicated that will be the case.
Apple initially said the AirPower would be released in 2018, but the year came and went without a release, and the company hasn’t said a word about the mat in many months. Apple removed the last remaining reference to the AirPower on its website, a photo of the mat, from its AirPods page earlier today.
— Joanna Stern (@JoannaStern) March 20, 2019
Apple is holding a media event on March 25 at Steve Jobs Theater, where it is widely expected to unveil news and streaming video services, but this week’s product announcements suggest the event might not see much if any hardware on stage.
AirPower is designed to charge multiple Apple devices at once, including the iPhone 8 and newer, Apple Watch Series 3 and newer, and AirPods when they are placed in the new optional wireless charging case introduced today.