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WSJ: Apple ‘approved production’ for AirPower earlier this year after delay

There’s mounting evidence that suggests AirPower could be released any day now, and the long-awaited release of AirPods with a wireless charging case only adds fuel to the rumor fire. The Wall Street Journal adds new reporting about the state of AirPower in their coverage of the new AirPods launch:

According to the WSJ, Apple has presumably overcome whatever challenges delayed AirPower’s release with production approved by the company in early 2019:

The company earlier this year approved production of a wireless-charging pad called AirPower, according to people familiar with the matter. It had announced the product in late 2017.

AirPower, which would allow users to charge the new AirPods and an iPhone simultaneously, has been delayed by product-development challenges, the people said. Apple typically announces new products within months of beginning production.

An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment on AirPower.

Apple’s SVP of Marketing Phil Schiller first previewed AirPower publicly in a sneak peek announcement in September 2017 alongside the Apple Watch Series 3, iPhone 8, and iPhone X. Apple pitched AirPower as a product that would come sometime in 2018, but the year ended without any update — despite the charging mat appearing in the manual for the iPhone XS and iPhone XR.

Reliable supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo for TF International Securities has claimed that AirPower would finally ship sometime between the end of last year and the end of June 2019, but Apple hasn’t offered an update on the project at any point since previewing the special wireless charging mat.

AirPower will uniquely support charging multiple iPhones or an iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods simultaneously. Charging each device today requires separate charging mats.

Code discovered in iOS 12.2 beta 6, released this week ahead of a final release expected for Monday, by Gui Rambo highlights newly added support for AirPower in software. Apple’s new AirPods will require iOS 12.2 for pairing, further suggesting AirPower could be coming soon.

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Avatar for Zac Hall Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news for 9to5Mac and hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour and 9to5Mac Watch Time podcasts.