Apple Airpod AirPower
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Future Tech: AirPower Is the Latest Needless Innovation from Apple

Photo: Donald Iain Smith (Getty Images)

Usually, when Apple announces a product, you don’t have to wait long to see it. They’re one of the first companies to come out of the gate with new phones and tablets and then open pre-orders immediately. It’s an exciting strategy, even if it also hasn’t changed much in recent times. So, when Apple puts something up on stage and then it never materializes, you know something’s wrong. This is the fate of the AirPower, a wireless Qi charging mat that was first shown on Sept. 12, 2017.

As is the case with most Apple releases, wireless charging is nothing new in the world of phones. Android and iOS devices support a wide range of charging mats already on the market. Beyond a slick interface on the iPhone screen and the ability to charge multiple devices at once, AirPower’s innovations seem underwhelming at best. While Apple promised a 2018 release for the device after their “sneak peek” reveal, we’ve seen nothing about it. In fact, at some point in 2018, Apple removed all mention of the device from their web presence. Maybe they just didn’t want to invite any undue comparisons.

This all makes sense, as wireless chargers are pretty much a dime a dozen. Go to any online marketplace and you’ll see for yourself. A device that can juice any of your Qi-supported devices can be yours for next to no money. Sure, Apple’s eventual AirPower would come in at a higher standard than these knockoffs, but is wireless charging really where you want to deeply invest? Unless you’re one of those kinds of folks who buys everything that Apple puts out, is this really something you need to have?

Sure you do, and Apple can smell it. Rumors are flying that the AirPower is finally on the production line. Releasing alongside an updated version of the AirPods, the charging mat could finally reveal itself from the shadows. The most requested feature for these new AirPods? Color schemes other than white. Let’s hope that Apple has cooked up more than a few palette swaps for its wireless mat.

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