Apple developing ‘less ambitious’ AirPower charging mat – report

Apple is, once again, reported to be developing a “less ambitious” version of the cancelled AirPower wireless charging solution.

In a new report from Bloomberg, well-connected journalist Mark Gurman repeated recent claims Apple hasn’t given up on providing an accessory that can replenish the batteries of multiple devices at a time.

Apple cancelled the AirPower device in 2019, a year and a half after announcing it. It is believed the firm couldn’t overcome the technical challenges involved with creating a device that could charge an iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods case safely and reliably.

Apple itself said it had been unable to meet its own “high standards.” However, within the last six months there have been whispers the company is chasing a second bite of the cherry.

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“More than a year after AirPower’s demise, Apple is developing a less ambitious wireless charger for the iPhone,” Gurman writes today. However, the wider article pertains to a new third-party solution that looks to succeed where AirPower had originally failed.

The US-based startup in question, Aira, is rolling out its FreePower technology that would be compatible with a wide range of devices from different manufacturers. Aira’s tech is different to other solutions on the market because it prints coils onto a circuit board, instead of the traditional use of wire-wound found in the manufacturing.

If you saw the purported teardown we reported on last week, then you’ll see just how complex the internals of the AirPower were scheduled to be. This may simplify things somewhat. However, the current iteration of the device is unable to charge an Apple Watch due to some proprietary Apple tech, so it definitely won’t be able to match the AirPower proposition in that respect.

The first device to rock the FreePower tech, is Nomad’s Base Station Pro, which can charge three devices simultaneously. It’s available to purchase now in the United States ahead of shipping next month. It ain’t cheap though, it’s $229.

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