The AirPower wireless charging cradle remains one of Apple’s and the industry’s most notorious failures, as this is one of its few products officially announced in a keynote that never made it to market.
It’s a rare occurrence at Apple, which usually keeps the cards up to the last minute, so if you have to cancel a product, you can pretend it never existed.
But it turned out that Apple had been too ambitious in presenting a charging base that could work with all our devices at the same time. The alternatives launched since then show that using a single base for different devices is too difficult or dangerous.
Apple and its new AirPower
But maybe, years later, Apple has finally hit the button. That’s how analyst Jon Prosser has leaked it, and once again he has surprised us with one of those exclusives that nobody knows how he manages.
In this case, Prosser has obtained photos of a prototype wireless charger being developed by Apple, with code name ‘C68’. What’s really interesting about this model is that Apple’s engineers have finally managed to get the Apple Watch to recharge without any problems.
Well, you guys wanted a better picture of “C68”… 😏
Remember how I said that the main problem was that current prototypes didn’t support Apple Watch?
They got the Watch working… 👀 pic.twitter.com/LvBeNAAtt3
— Jon Prosser (@jon_prosser) June 18, 2020
That was apparently one of the big problems during development. The original model was cancelled because the coils built into the charger were getting too hot. The problem is that each device we put on the base recharges at a different power, and you have to keep in mind that you can put them wherever you want.
Has Apple managed to ‘break the laws of physics’?
It was rumored that Apple wanted to break the laws of physics by designing a charger so complex and able to recharge several devices with different powers at the same time.
However, it seems that Apple has succeeded, or at least, something similar. The filtered images show an Apple Watch and an AirPod Pro box being charged at the same time.
Here’s my concept of “C68”
Apple’s most current internal prototype.
– Fewer coils, with less overlap
– A11 chip inside to manage heat
– Lightning cable on right side
(Though I’d expect that to change on the retail models)
If they pull it off — expected Q4 2020 / Q1 2021
~ $250 pic.twitter.com/sjViqjn0As
— Jon Prosser (@jon_prosser) April 13, 2020
According to Prosser, the new charging cradle is expected to be available in the last quarter of 2020 or the first quarter of 2021, and it won’t be cheap, costing around $250.
For Apple, launching a wireless charging cradle is very important, because it will allow it to bypass the European Union rules, which will force it to use a single type of charger (probably USB-C). In response, Apple would launch an iPhone with no ports, which would only charge wirelessly.