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There's speculation that Apple has made a rare blooper with one of its most highly anticipated accessories

Isobel Asher Hamilton
  • Apple did not mention its AirPower wireless charging mat this week at its annual iPhone event.
  • Some tech commentators are speculating that Apple is behind schedule developing the AirPower, which it first previewed one year ago, and have linked this to Apple's acquisition of the charging startup PowerbyProxi.
  • Bloomberg reported in June that Apple engineers were encountering problems such as overheating while developing AirPower.

Any Apple fans waiting to hear about the company's futuristic wireless charging mat were disappointed Wednesday, as the AirPower charger did not get a single mention at Apple's latest annual iPhone event.

Apple previewed AirPower last year, showing a flat pad the company said could wirelessly charge devices such as an Apple Watch, iPhone, and AirPods case all at once. But there was, surprisingly, no mention of the mat in Cupertino, California, on Wednesday.

Now commentators are speculating that Apple has experienced some kind of setback. 9to5Mac reported that most mentions of AirPower had been scrubbed from Apple's website. According to 9to5Mac, the product page for last year's iPhone X mentioned AirPower and a release date of 2018. With the iPhone X now discontinued, there's no longer any mention of AirPower.

The tech blogger and well-known Apple watcher John Gruber also weighed in, noting that he could find a picture of an AirPower mat but no mention of the product by name on Apple's site. "No one from Apple I've spoken to today will say a word about AirPower other than that they have nothing to say about it today," he wrote in a blog post published Wednesday. "I wouldn't be surprised if it's been scrapped, and they just don't want to say so yet."

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AirPower must be well and truly fucked. No one at Apple will say a word about it, even off the record. And as a result they didn’t even mention inductive charging during the event, even though the XS and XR both charge faster than the X.

The Forrester analyst Thomas Husson told Business Insider he would be surprised if Apple had scrapped AirPower altogether.

"Given the importance of the battery life for the Apple Watch, it would have been a nice way to sell accessories to consumers who own multiple Apple devices and create a continuum of experiences across the product portfolio," he said.

"I would assume this is still the plan and that is only a matter of months before we know more details and see an official product launch."

Apple announced in September last year that it would release AirPower in 2018, but speculation about the precise release date has varied. Shortly afterward it was confirmed that Apple had bought a wireless-charging company, PowerbyProxi, to "help create a wireless future," according to Apple's senior vice president of hardware engineering, Dan Riccio.

The wireless future seems to have stalled, however, as Bloomberg reported in June that engineers were struggling to stop the mats from overheating. The same report suggested that AirPower would be released in September.

Business Insider contacted Apple for comment.

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