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Apple AirPower leaked images suggest launch is imminent

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple AirPower is continuing its climb up and out of the pits of cancellation, and there's now pictures to prove it.

Jon Prosser, a frequent and reliable Apple leaker, posted two new images of the "C68" prototype, the in-development Apple charging pad that aims to do what AirPower couldn't. He notes that this version can charge an Apple Watch, seemingly proved by the green charging light on both the watch and the AirPods case also resting on the pad.

(Image credit: Jon Prosser)

Originally, AirPower was meant to arrive in 2018, after being announced in 2017 alongside the wirelessly-charging iPhone X and iPhone 8. However, after going quiet for a year, AirPower was officially revealed to be cancelled in March 2019. Later rumors suggested that because of Apple's desire for the charging pad to power an iPhone, AirPods charging case and Apple Watch simultaneously, the AirPower generated a dangerous amount of heat, with the fault seemingly being the Apple Watch's.

(Image credit: Jon Prosser)

But earlier this year, Jon Prosser leaked the existence of C68, saying that Apple was working on fixing the Apple Watch sticking point, through the use of an A11 Bionic chipset to manage the pad's power delivery. This is why the reveal of an Apple Watch charging now is important — it points to the product finally progressing towards one you can pick up off of store shelves.

We'd be delighted to see AirPower make a surprise debut at the iPhone 12 launch later this year, but that may be too short a time for Apple to turn this prototype into a retail version. However, since rumors claim that the iPhone 13 will be the first iPhone to ship with no Lightning port, or any port at all, Apple could save the AirPower until 2021. After all, its customers will need the AirPower or similar product ready for when they are forcibly kicked to a wireless-only existence.