There's talk a new Apple gadget could be released at the end of this year, but, for once, the chat isn't about new iPhones. This time speculation surrounds AirPower, Apple's wireless charger pad that it appeared to have unceremoniously ditched plans for last March. But now, just over a year later, rumours suggest that AirPower might be about to be resurrected in time for the launch of the iPhone 12.
According to Jon Prosser of Front Page Tech, Apple engineers "haven’t given up yet", and are currently prototyping a new version of the gadget. In a tweet last week (below), Prosser revealed a leaked image of what is known as "C68," a prototype of the newly-revived wireless charger. According to Prosser on Twitter, the photo "was taken in the home of an employee" who obviously wants to remain anonymous (hence the photo looking like it was taken with a potato).
While working from home, engineers on Apple’s ‘Sharing and Proximity’ team are receiving prototype units of something called “C68“.They are being asked work on software communication between devices for a “future product” that has an A11 inside to “dynamically manage heat”. pic.twitter.com/q4UvnF4ksxApril 10, 2020
Prosser's tweets reveal that the AirPower successor will include an A11 chip to help manage the distribution of power. A report from Wearable suggested the original version of AirPower was allegedly prone to overheating when charging an Apple Watch, as it requires more power than other devices.
Based on the leaked image and specs, Prosser has shared his own mock-up (below) of what the new Airpower could look like. According to the render, it looks very similar to the original, albeit with the charging cable connecting to the side of the mat instead of the top. It also appears to have retained the headline feature of being able to charge three devices at once.
While the resurrection of AirPower is good news for Apple fans, its leaked price isn't. Prosser's tweets suggest we could be looking at shelling out $250 for the thing. Yikes. Still, there aren't many wireless chargers out that that can charge three devices at once, so perhaps it'll be worth the cost for Apple fanatics in possession of an iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods.
If the new AirPower does land at the end of 2020 as Prosser suggests, it may even arrive in time for the iPhone 12 (check out this amazing render of what that phone could look like). The world is a strange place right now, and only time will tell what Apple products manage to make it out this year – but we don't think the new iPad Pro and MacBook Air will be the last we see from Apple in 2020.