In a rare and embarrassing reversal, the plans to release its AirPower wireless charging mat has been cancelled by Apple more than 18 months after the tech giant first announced the concept.
Last Friday, the tech firm apologised to its customers and disclosed that it would not be able to release a version of the said product that would be able to match its standards. AirPower was never anticipated to sell in huge numbers, however, cancelling a product that has already been announced is considered to be unexpected when it comes to the recent history of the company.
Apple announced its plans for the AirPower mat in September 2017. The device was intended to simultaneously charge compatible iPhones, the Apple Watch and its AirPod headphones wirelessly. It was also presented as a replacement for the jumble of charging cables that gadget owners have come to deal with today.
Originally, the firm planned to release the product last year, however, when it failed to materialise, the rumours mounted that the tech giant was having some production difficulties.
Unlike other wireless charging mats, which require the gadgets to be placed in a specific spot, Apple had planned that AirPower would work regardless of where a device was placed.
It is believed that this needed the charging coils to be packed together densely, leading Apple to have trouble with managing the heat that was generated by the device.
Until last Friday, no mention of the product had been made since it was announced, even though signs continued to point to its release. The packaging for the most recent version of Apple’s AirPods that was released this week featured the images of the AirPower mat.
The hardware engineering chief of Apple, Dan Riccio, stated: “After much effort, we’ve concluded AirPower will not achieve our high standards and we have cancelled the project.”
He added: “We apologise 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.”
Apple has observed some delays to some products in the past years. Sales of AirPods were limited by a supply shortage when they first went on sale, while the HomePod speaker that was originally scheduled to be released in late 2017 did not go on sale up until the year after.