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Apple AirPower ‘teardown’ may reveal why wireless charging mat was cancelled

An alleged teardown of a prototype version of the Apple AirPower shows a massively complex internal design that might explain why Apple cancelled it.

The purported teardown uploaded to bilibili and reported on by 9to5Mac and iClarified shows an array with a total of 14 wireless charging coils – all layered within the base of the device. This would have assured that iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods owners could have charged their devices wherever they were placed on the AirPower mat.

The teardown also shows a keyboard-esque metal frame that would have kept everything densely packed into the product. We can also see the Lightning port that would have enabled the device to be connected to a power source.

A small device with copper wires and lights with a bili bili logo on top right

All of this, if accurate, might shed some light on why Apple was unable to perfect the AirPower device to its own “high standards.” When it cancelled the product last year, 18 months after announcing it, the company didn’t cite a particular reason, but it was largely believed to be technical challenges that brought down the gadget.

Apple’s senior vice president of hardware engineering, Dan Riccio said at the time: “After much effort, we’ve concluded AirPower will not achieve our high standards and we have cancelled the project.

Read more: AirPower alternatives

“We apologise to those customers who were looking forward to this launch. We continue to believe that the future is wireless and are committed to push the wireless experience forward.”

If you believe recent rumours, Apple is having another stab at building an AirPower multi-device wireless chargers. According to a tweet from Jon Prosser, the founder of Front Page Tech back in March, Apple has once again started work on the wireless charging solution that once promised to charge an iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods case simultaneously.

Prosser said the project is “back on” with Apple engineers attempting to “re-engineer the coils to displace heat more effectively.” If the source is reliable, Apple is already prototyping new solutions.

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