Apple’s AirPower: ‘Well and truly f**ked’

Posted by John Gruber on Daring Fireball, six months before Apple pulled the plug:

AIRPOWER: I wrote about AirPower’s absence earlier this week. What I’ve heard, third-hand but from multiple little birdies, is that AirPower really is well and truly fucked. Something about the multi-coil design getting too hot — way too hot. There are engineers who looked at AirPower’s design and said it could never work, thermally, and now those same engineers have that “told you so” smug look on their faces. Last year Apple was apparently swayed by arguments that they could figure out a way to make it not get hot. They were, clearly, wrong. I think they’ve either had to go completely back to the drawing board and start over with an entirely different design, or they’ve decided to give up and they just don’t want to say so.

From Apple, via TechCrunch’s Matthew Panzarino:

“After much effort, we’ve concluded AirPower will not achieve our high standards and we have cancelled the project. We apologize to those customers who were looking forward to this launch. We continue to believe that the future is wireless and are committed to push the wireless experience forward,” said Dan Riccio, Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Engineering in an emailed statement today.

My take: This whole field was more exciting when analysts were talking about over-the-air charging from a distance of up to 15 feet. Whatever happened to that idea? Meanwhile, I got tired of waiting for Apple and bought two third-party charging disks. They work just fine, no overheating.


  1. Robert Harris said:
    So excited I spent the extra $ to get the wireless AirPods

    March 29, 2019
    • Dan Scropos said:
      As did I, and I expect a refund or credit for the extra $40.

      March 29, 2019
  2. John Konopka said:
    Maybe they could switch to superconducting coils? Of course, they would require a continuous supply of liquid nitrogen, but they wouldn’t over-heat.

    I’m not much bothered by this. It’s not like it was something major like a G5 Powerbook.

    March 29, 2019
  3. Jerry W Doyle said:
    Little doubt exists that Apple’s failure to produce the long awaited and promised AirPlay is most disconcerting for many who anticipated highly the device’s arrival. The pros will have empathy. The pundits and some in the public will vacillate between being p**sed-off to mildly frustrated in receiving the announcement. Apple, though, is doing the stoic and prudent action in this situation: “If it ain’t ready, it ain’t ready.” Steve would have done no less because it is he who set Apple’s high standards of quality product fabrication for Apple consumers to have the premium, ultimate experience.

    Apple is not Samsung! Does any Apple consumer want to see or worse, to experience possibly a Samsung battery power fiery explosion? Apple doesn’t count beans and gambles in proceeding forth with a less than high standard product associated with potential risks to consumers along with the later adverse ramifications striking the company’s reputation of turning out the world greatest products.

    “… We do these things not because we are control freaks. We do them because we want to make great products, because we care about the user and because we like to take responsibility for the entire experience rather than turn out the crap that other people make.” (Steve Jobs’ words.)

    March 30, 2019

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