It looks like the AirPower dream isn’t quite dead.
Apple is reportedly still working on a multi-device wireless charger, according to Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman, an often reliable source of Apple leaks.
AirPower was first announced back in September 2017 alongside the iPhone X/iPhone 8 and given a 2018 launch window at the time. Then, following months of rumours, Apple cancelled AirPower despite the charger appearing on packaging materials for some devices. It’s still unclear why the charger was cancelled, but rumours indicate Apple encountered issues related to overheating.
Since then, Apple has launched its MagSafe charging technology and accompanying accessories and its MagSafe Duo charger that can charge the Apple Watch and an iPhone. Third-party manufacturers such as Nomad have also taken up the multi-device charging mantle with devices like the Base Station Pro.
Gurman says that Apple still plans to release a charger capable of powering three devices simultaneously and that the company is developing a charging solution that doesn’t rely on inductive charging. Apple is reportedly working on “short and long-distance wireless charging devices” and wants all of its devices to be able to charge each other.
While this rumoured device sounds like it could share some elements with AirPower, it seems unlikely that it will be designed to allow users to place devices wherever they want on the charging device.
In his Power-On newsletter, Gurman describes an iPad charging an iPhone and then the iPhone charging AirPods or an Apple Watch. Several notable Android devices, including the Galaxy S21 series, feature reverse-wireless charging.