Remember AirPower? You’d be forgiven if the answer is “no.” In 2017, Apple introduced a Qi wireless charging mat by that name that could simultaneously charge an iPhone, an AirPods case, and an Apple Watch—or three items in any combination from those three. It was repeatedly delayed, and reports indicated that Apple was facing serious technical issues when developing it. In March of this year, Apple finally confirmed the product would never be released.
Except now a variation on the original concept has, and Apple is selling it in its store. Made by mophie, a popular Apple peripheral and accessory maker, it’s one mat that charges three devices. It’s called, well, the mophie 3-in-1 wireless charging pad.
To be clear, this does not fully realize the vision Apple originally laid out for AirPower. Whereas AirPower could charge three devices in any combination—say, two iPhones and a Watch, or two Watches and one AirPods case, or three iPhones—the mophie pad has a dedicated spot for each device type: iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods. Further, the Watch doesn’t actually charge on the mat; it charges on a distinct surface that protrudes from the mat. And for AirPower, Apple imagined a software solution that would display on your iPhone’s screen the charge status of every device on the mat. The mophie pad doesn’t offer that.
This isn’t the first time that Apple has not released a demanded product because the company couldn’t make it to its own very specific vision. And in this instance, mophie was willing to compromise on those features, Apple wasn’t, so mophie released a three-device charging pad, and Apple didn’t. And it’s nothing new for Apple to turn to a trusted partner to produce a product that Apple, for one reason or another, chooses not to make itself.
So if you were disappointed AirPower didn’t become a reality, this is probably as close as you’re going to get in the very near future. The mophie 3-in-1 delivers 7.5W of power, charges through iPhone cases up to 3mm thick, and positions the Apple Watch in an orientation appropriate for Nightstand Mode. It sells for $ 139.95 in the Apple online store. Apple is also offering a mophie-made two-device pad (AirPods and iPhone, two iPhones, or two AirPods) for $ 99.95 if the separate charging surface for the Watch turns you off from the three-device option.
Listing image by Apple