APPLE IS AIMING to release its long-awaited AirPower charging mat by September this year, according to Bloomberg.
The AirPower mat, which can wirelessly charge an iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods at the same time, was first demoed at Apple's iPhone X launch event in September last year.
At the time, the company's marketing boss Phil Schiller said it would be available in 2018, as reflected on Apple's website, but the company failed to give an exact release date.
Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports that Apple had originally planned to release the gadget by June, with an announcement likely planned for WWDC, but says the launch was delayed due to "technical challenges."
These hurdles reportedly included the potential for overheating, complex multi-device charging circuitry, and software bugs with the accessory's on-board firmware .
While Apple has yet to detail the device's 'complex' internals, Gurman notes that the AirPower includes a custom Apple chip running "a stripped down version of iOS to conduct on-device power management and pairing with devices."
Complex and bug-prone the AirPower may be, but Gurman says it's finally nearing a release, with Apple now aiming to get in on shelves "before or in September."
In order to ensure it's ready for prime time, the report notes that some Apple engineers have ramped up testing of the device by using it as their charger at the office.
AirPower, Gurman notes, it another step towards Apple's goal of a completely wireless future. He write that Apple designers eventually hope to "remove most of the external ports and buttons on the iPhone," noting Apple even considered removing wired charging from the iPhone X, but decided wireless charging was not yet fast enough.
The charging port is unlikely to be gone from iPhones any time soon, in fact, with recent reports claiming that Apple's 2019 smartphone line-up will be the first to ship with a USB-C port as opposed to Lightning.
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