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Apple Just Canceled Its AirPower Wireless Charger

Apple canceled its wireless charging product saying in a statement that it was unable to meet its own standards for design and manufacturing.

Last updated on March 29, 2019, at 4:25 p.m. ET

Posted on March 29, 2019, at 4:20 p.m. ET

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Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, Philip Schiller, introduced AirPower, a wireless charging system, during a media event in September 2017.

Apple canceled its wireless charging product, AirPower, on Friday, saying in a statement that it was unable to meet its own standards for design and manufacturing.

Announced in September 2017 at an Apple iPhone event, AirPower was supposed to be a charging mat on which users could place and wirelessly charge their iPhones, Apple Watches, and AirPods charging cases. During a “sneak peek” at that 2017 event, Apple’s senior vice president of global marketing, Phil Schiller, said that customers could expect the product in 2018.

“After much effort, we’ve concluded AirPower will not achieve our high standards and we have cancelled the project,” Dan Riccio, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware engineering, said in a statement Friday. “We apologize to those customers who were looking forward to this launch.”

Apple’s retraction of AirPower after its announcement almost two years ago is a misstep for a company known for generating incredible hype for its premium electronic devices. While Apple has previously experienced delays on devices, like its AirPods wireless headphones, this is the first time in recent memory that the Cupertino, California–based company has canceled an announced product before shipping it.

The AirPower wouldn’t even have made a dent on Apple’s bottom line, but cancelling an announced product, no matter how big or small, is a huge embarrassment. Can’t recall them cancelling an announced device, at least in modern era. Even the white iPhone 4 made it out alive.

After Apple failed to ship AirPower in 2018, Apple fans began to point to the product as yet another example of the company’s recent tendency to delay promised and highly anticipated products. The company held a press event earlier this week to debut new TV, credit, and gaming services, but it avoided all mention of AirPower. Leading up to the event, Apple had announced a number of hardware updates, including the long-awaited next generation of AirPods, a new iPad Air, an updated iPad Mini, and updated iMacs. Still, Apple had already printed references to AirPower-charging compatibility on its packaging for other products, like AirPods.

In 2017, Schiller said that AirPower would not be possible with the company’s “current standards,” but assured people that Apple would perfect the technology within 12 months. “Our team knows how to do this,” he said onstage.

Apple didn’t, failing to create a pad that could charge multiple devices at once wherever they were placed on the pad. Leading up to Friday’s announcement, there were multiple reports of AirPower test products overheating.

As iPhone fanboy I am most excited about the AirPower Mat. No longer do I need multiple chargers for my Watch, Air Pods, and Phone 🙌🏽

There are plenty of wireless charging pads already on the market offered by other technology companies, and Apple says it remains committed to the idea presented by AirPower.

“We continue to believe that the future is wireless and are committed to push the wireless experience forward,” Riccio said in his statement.

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