iPhone XS Max packaging & iOS 12.1 code both suggest Apple AirPower still in development

Is the long-delayed AirPower wireless charger still delayed or no longer under consideration? No one but Apple knows for sure. Nonetheless, two new clues suggest it will launch — someday.

As Twitter user Gavin Stephens was the first to note, the manual for the iPhone XS Max mentions the charging device. In a “getting started guide” are the words: “Place iPhone with screen facing up on AirPoweror a Qi-certified wireless charger.”

Additionally, 9to5Mac has discovered some information in the first iOS 12.1 developer beta that suggests the AirPower project continues to move forward.

Looking into iOS 12.1, we noticed that the component of iOS responsible for managing the charging interface that appears when using AirPower has been updated, which means that Apple is still actively working on the project.

The AirPower was first announced on Sept. 12, 2017, and was designed to inductively charge multiple Apple devices at once, including many that were also announced on that date, such as the third-generation Apple Watch, iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus.

Earlier this year, Bloomberg said Apple planned on releasing the wireless device before the end of September. It said continued problems with AirPower’s multi-device charging mechanism was the reason for the device’s long delay.

I don’t believe the AirPower mention in the iPhone XS Max manual means that much. This document could have been printed weeks ago, and Apple could have decided that republishing them before the iPhone XS Max release would be too costly.

The information 9to5Mac found in the iOS 12.1 beta, however, is not as easy to discount. If the AirPower was no longer under consideration, I’d think any reference to it would have been removed from a new iOS beta.

Hopefully, we’ll hear more from Apple soon.

What do you think? Will we ever see an AirPower charging pad in the wild? Let us know your opinion in the notes below.