A YEAR AND A HALF ago, Apple announced AirPower. On Friday, Apple announced it was dead, giving the product the kind of lifespan that grieving relatives of your average Campbell Dwarf hamster might argue was "too soon".
Of course, unlike your average Campbell Dwarf hamster, which might enjoy several months of joy/terror at the hands of clumsy and sticky-handed children, the AirPower never made it into homes. It seems like Tim Cook announced it prematurely, and it quickly became apparent that its party trick - being able to charge three products at the same time no matter where they were placed on the mat - was no match for the laws of physics. Rumours of overheating abounded.
"After much effort, we've concluded AirPower will not achieve our high standards and we have cancelled the project," said Apple SVP of hardware and engineering Dan Riccio in a statement.
"We apologise to those customers who were looking forward to this launch. We continue to believe that the future is wireless and are committed to push the wireless experience forward."
This feels like it may have been something of a last-minute decision. Not only was Apple due to deliver AirPower last year, but earlier this month The Wall Street Journal reported that the company had given the product the mass production nod. Something like AirPower even seems to appear on the box of the new AirPod wireless charging case. Whoops.
Unveiling a product and then cancelling it before it hits shelves is embarrassing for any company, but especially for Apple, which prides itself on pushing the design envelope. There's a lesson here which probably shouldn't ever need writing down, but apparently it does: don't announce a product that you're not 100 per cent sure can exist within the laws of physics as we understand them. µ
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