Apple rumored to be working on a ‘less ambitious’ wireless charging mat

Remember AirPower? We recently saw the internals of the canceled wireless charging mat, and now a new report says we can expect a new effort from Apple soon.

However, we might not want to get too excited just yet. Bloomberg has the report today, which is included in a broader look at Nomad’s recently launched Base Station Pro wireless charging mat. Specifically, the report is taking a look at Aira, a startup which has its technology baked into the new wireless charging mat. According to Bloomberg, Aira is looking to “replicate” Apple’s canceled AirPower wireless charger.

Which apparently Apple isn’t really trying to do anymore. Instead, this story tells us Apple is working on a “less ambitious” wireless charging mat, but the details of that device remain light at best. The original promise and excitement regarding AirPower was the fact you could drop a device anywhere on the mat to charge it. It worked with the Apple Watch, AirPods, and the iPhone.

As far as this device is concerned, though, it sounds like Apple might be looking at a different design and features list. We could see a new AirPower-inspired wireless charging mat debut at some point in the near future, but it may not feature support for charging multiple devices at once, for instance. Or maybe it will, and something else will be different compared to the original AirPower.

Here’s the important bit from the original report:

More than a year after AirPower’s demise, Apple is developing a less ambitious wireless charger for the iPhone. But while the Silicon Valley giant works on that product, Aira Inc., a startup based in Chandler, Arizona, this week is rolling out a technology called FreePower that aims to deliver on the original promise of AirPower, and works for devices from different manufacturers, including those from Google and Samsung Electronics Co. — not just Apple.

Obviously not much to go on here! However, this report does appear to line up with an earlier expectation of analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from this year. Back in January Kuo said Apple was working on a variety of products, including a new wireless charging mat, that would debut in early 2020. That launch window didn’t pan out, partly due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it sounds like Apple hasn’t given up on the idea of a wireless charging mat.

The question, of course, is whether or not it’s worth buying. There are a lot of different wireless charging mat options out there, and if we can’t get AirPower, is it worth waiting for Apple’s option?

What do you think?