Apple is working on an AirPower charging mat once again, according to a new leak. So while it's a few years late, you may be able to simultaneously wirelessly charge your iPhone 11, Apple Watch 5 and AirPods after all in the near future.
Jon Prosser (via MacRumors) made this claim in a recent tweet, which you can read below. He doesn't mention how long Apple has been working on AirPower again, but it's apparently prototyping designs, trying to fix the heat problem that scuppered the project the first time round.
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AirPower isn’t dead 👀The project is back on, internally. No guarantee that they’ll finalize and release it, but they haven’t given up yet and they’re trying to re-engineer the coils to displace heat more effectively. Prototyping is underway.🧻🧻🧻🧻🧻 pic.twitter.com/tjbbViwGM2March 22, 2020
Prosser also tweeted that, at the moment, none of the prototypes work with Apple Watch. Since he also claims that Apple won't release the AirPower until it does work with its Watch products, this is the greatest roadblock to seeing the charging mat on shelves at long last.
Note: None of the current prototypes support Apple Watch - that’s their biggest hurdle right now. They refuse to release a version that doesn’t work with Apple Watch. They’re re-engineering from scratch. 👀March 22, 2020
We had our suspicions that Apple was working on its ill-fated charging mat again thanks to the discovery of a similar-looking patent back in January. This design, as well as charging your compatible devices, had a "device priority" system, that would charge the items you placed on it in the order they were placed.
AirPower was originally announced in September 2017, alongside the wirelessly charging iPhone 8 and iPhone X. The charger was meant to support an iPhone, Apple Watch and an AirPods charging case all at the same time, while also complying to the Qi charging standard, meaning it could be used with many other compatible products too.
Apple announced its cancellation in March 2019, after deciding that it wasn't able to get the product up to its exacting standards. The reasons given were that the charging pad produced excess heat (a common problem for wireless chargers) and that there was some communications interference between the devices when there were multiple items on the charger.