As the world got ready for another one of Apple’s two-hour-long announcement events, some people held out hope that we might finally hear more about AirPower, the company’s wireless charging pad. The product was first announced all the way back in 2017, but we haven’t heard much since then.
Hopes were dashed on Monday when Apple focused entirely on services rather than hardware. Original TV content, news and magazine subscriptions, and gaming took precedence over the kinds of things we’ve grown accustomed to at Apple press conferences.
That meant there was no mention of AirPower at all. Monday marked the 559th day since the product was first announced and we still have no idea when it’s coming out. Apple’s original plan was to launch in 2018, but that whole year came and went without the company’s wireless charging solution.
In fairness to Apple, AirPower showing up at Monday’s event always seemed like a long-shot. Apple ran with the “showtime” motif in the week leading up to the entertainment-focused event and got minor hardware updates out of the way beforehand. There was a new round of rumors about AirPower’s long-awaited launch before the event, but they failed to come to fruition.
What makes the radio silence surrounding AirPower concerning is how unusual it is for Apple. Typically, Apple announces products shortly before they are ready to be shipped without massive delays like this. Some exceptions include the HomePod and AirPods, but still, those products eventually made it into people’s hands.
Reports last year suggested Apple was having trouble getting AirPower to work without serious overheating. It makes sense that a serious hardware problem like that would be the source for such an extensive delay, but it doesn’t make the situation any less unusual for Apple.
It’s not the end of the world that one of Apple’s many product announcements from the last few years hasn’t made it to market yet. People have kept charging their phones, watches and headphones without any trouble in the meantime. Still, as long as Apple keeps saying nothing, we’re going to keep wondering just what happened to AirPower.