The Core of Apple’s Problems with AirPower

AirPower (Image Source: Apple)

Apple’s AirPower product was an ambitious concept that took on multiple, overlapping technical challenges related to wireless power. These included:

Variable loading
Having from one to three devices charging simultaneously

Variable charging rates
Supporting devices with different power requirements (ie. Watches and AirPods need less power than iPhones)

Variable receiver sizes
Supporting Watches, AirPods and iPhones, all of which have different receiver antenna sizes

Industrial design standards
Apple’s stringent industrial design standards often constrain product height/thickness specifications

When you combine these factors, you get a very complex engineering problem that causes the following performance issues:

• Excess heat
• Faulty communications between the transmitter and receivers
• Switching complexity
• Dead spots over a large portion of the charge area
• Manufacturing complexity

How do we know this?

We anticipate and solve problems like this all the time for our customers. Our patented MLMT technology and deep systems integration knowledge allow us to engineer solutions that were previously thought impossible. (As an example, see how NuCurrent’s technology and know-how are expanding the z-height limits in the upcoming release of the Wireless Power Consortium’s Qi specification.)

If we’d had a bite at the apple, AirPower might have had a different outcome.