When Apple announced the iPhone X last September, the tech giant also previewed its first-ever wireless charging accessory, the AirPower charging mat.
We’ll forgive you if you’ve forgotten about it. After all, it’s been more than 282 days since Apple first previewed the accessory at its most recent fall iPhone event.
In short, the AirPower charging mat is, as mentioned above, the company’s first foray into creating a wireless charging accessory. Unlike other inductive charging mats, it’s designed to wirelessly charge multiple devices at the same time. When Apple showed off the accessory, it promised iPhone owners would be to not only charge their smartphone, but their Apple Watch and AirPods, as well.
Apple previewed its AirPower charging mat 280 days ago.
— Joe Rossignol (@rsgnl) June 19, 2018
The company hasn’t publicly discussed the accessory since it first showed it off.
In a new report, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman says multiple technical challenges have delayed the accessory’s launch. Specifically, concerns related to the potential for overheating and the complexity of designing a charging mat that can charge multiple devices simultaneously have delayed the project.
Unlike the crop of inductive charging mats that are currently available on the market, the AirPower charging mat includes multiple different sized components that overlap across the mat. Achieving this engineering feat requires that Apple integrate multiple charging sensors, something that Gurman says has proven to be an engineering challenge.
Additionally, the accessory is set to feature custom silicon that will run a stripped down version of iOS, a feature that’s not present in the majority of charging mats. The company’s engineers are reportedly extra time to ensure the silicon’s firmware ships with as few bugs as possible.
According to Gurman, Apple plans to ship the charging mat before the end of September at the latest. The company sees the accessory as important step toward creating a future in which the iPhone doesn’t have any physical ports or buttons.