Jan 14 Update: This story has been updated per a new report of AirPower mats being produced.
Apple announced its AirPower charging mat alongside the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, with a suggestion that it would launch in early 2018. Rumors were that it would release in March, but that came and went, as did WWDC — and the remainder of 2018 — without any mention of it. But a new report says our wait is finally coming to an end.
Credit: AppleThe Menlo Park, CA-based ChargerLAB tweeted "We just learned from credible source in supply chain that the manufacture Luxshare Precision has already started producing Apple AirPower wireless charging pad." The tweet even included a screenshot of a text message conversation, presumably with the site's source.
As to when we'd see AirPower get a formal announcement, Apple doesn't have any regularly scheduled events coming up. Last year, the company waited until March 27 for its first media event, where it unveiled its latest 9.7-inch iPad. Of course, AirPower could debut in a quieter announcement on Apple.com.
Last June, a Bloomberg report shined light on Apple's difficulties getting AirPower to work. Apple hoped that AirPower, which can charge an iPhone, AirPods (with a yet-to-be-released charging case) and Apple Watch simultaneously, would release in June. Engineers have reportedly faced unexpected issues with the complex circuitry needed to let users place the devices anywhere they want on the mat, and are also testing heating issues. In fact, it seems that AirPower runs a "stripped down version of iOS" to handle power management.
One source told Bloomberg that testing is increasing, with some engineers using AirPower as their personal chargers in their offices.
Beyond the release date, there are still other mysteries surrounding AirPower. For instance, there's no sign as to how much it will cost and if it will work with any combination of the three accessories.
It's hard to call the AirPower "delayed" without a specific release date, but Apple has had some issues shipping products recently. The HomePod speaker was supposed to go on sale in December 2017, but released in February of this year, and an October launch for the AirPods fell into December.
For more, including how Apple sees AirPower as a way to look towards removing wired charging altogether, the full Bloomberg report is worth a read.