The report noted that Apple is still working on a charger that can handle three devices simultaneously – iPhone, AirPods and Apple Watch – despite its failures with AirPower.
Apple publicly announced AirPower alongside the iPhone X in 2017, but the product reportedly had development issues such as overheating and was canceled, according to Arstechnica.
Bloomberg previously reported that Apple was working on true wireless technology, AirPower, in a report published last June.
This report claimed that Apple plans to add reverse wireless charging to the iPad, that the company has been exploring the idea of developing an AirPower device, and that it is looking at “alternative wireless charging methods that could work at a larger scale.”
And the report said the new AirPower could use one of these new technologies — in other words, Apple could turn to new technology to solve a problem it can’t solve with a device that uses the currently popular inductive charging technology.
Since the cancellation of AirPower, Apple has released some similar products, such as the dual charger for the iPhone and Apple Watch.
And while AirPower is designed as a single charging surface that can service multiple devices, the Apple-designed iPhone/Watch charger is simply two separate charging devices connected to a single power cord.
Accessory makers like Belkin have also introduced multi-device inductive chargers to the Apple ecosystem. The devices work well enough for the most part, but they still don’t do everything Apple has strived to cover with AirPower.
Apple introduced MagSafe for the iPhone in 2020, putting wireless charging at the center rather than as a peripheral add-on.
There has been widespread speculation that Apple will drop the physical charging ports from the iPhone entirely in some iteration in the future; Better charging technology could be a catalyst for this move.
According to the report, Apple envisions a scenario where the iPad could charge the iPhone, the iPhone could charge the AirPods, and much of this could actually happen wirelessly, without a direct physical connection between the devices.
Most likely the company will start with inductive reverse charging and get to true wireless technology, and we still don’t have any sense of a timeline for these developments.