Apple released a new iPad Air and updated its iPad Mini today (March 18), but once again failed to deliver its long-delayed AirPower wireless charger.
Tim Cook and his minions quietly introduced updated guts for the iPad Air and the iPad Mini, both of which are shipping now. But if you were holding your breath for AirPower, you would be dead by now — there's no sign of Apple’s wireless mat yet.
The new iPad Air (which comes after Apple removed an earlier version from the lineup) features a 10.5-inch display and the A12 Bionic processor, with a price tag of $499 for the 64GB version and $649 for the 256GB model. While thin and light (1 pound, 6.1 millimeters thick), the new Air looks more like the previous model than the iPad Pros released last year, and the device has kept the standard 3.5mm analog headphone port instead of going USB-C.
Aside from its bigger display, which sits between the 9.7-inch iPad and 11-inch iPad Pro, this new iPad Air supports a new Smart Keyboard ($159 extra) and the 1st Gen Apple Pencil ($99)
Apple's update to the iPad Mini is similar, packing that same A12 Bionic chip and Pencil support in the 7.9-inch design that has been dying for an update. The Mini starts at $399 with 64GB of storage (the same amount the iPad Air starts with) and goes up to $549 for 256GB of storage. Cellular connectivity costs an extra $130 for both the Air and Mini.
AirPower still MIA
Rumors suggested that Apple would quietly release AirPower in March 2019 but, after countless problems and delays, Apple’s wireless charging platform is still not available for purchase at the company’s online store.
AirPower, which was rumored to have finally entered production in January, was touted by Apple as the end-all-be-all of wireless-charging technology when it was introduced back in 2017 with an “early 2018” release date that failed to materialize.
The wireless-charging technology — which promised to charge an iPhone, AirPods and Apple Watch simultaneously — had multiple development hiccups, which required complex circuitry and a custom version of iOS to be able to manage all the different elements simultaneously.
It’s doubtful that Apple will talk about AirPower at its March 25 “It’s Show Time” event, which will be focused on Apple’s new media offerings. AirPower may come after that — perhaps as late as June 3, the date of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference 2019 keynote.