Here’s a more detailed look at Apple’s canceled wireless AirPower charger

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The Apple Wireless AirPower Charger was supposed to arrive with the unique ability to charge your iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods at the same time. Unfortunately, Apple canceled AirPower in March 2019, referring to the difficulty of bringing the product to life. Since then, we have seen a Dismantling AirPower, some AirPower clonesand Apple MagSafe batteries. Now, Apple’s prototype collector has acquired a working AirPower unit for the first time.

Talking Limit, Giulio Zompetti, a 28-year-old Italian, says he was able to buy a prototype AirPower from Chinese sources of electrical waste. “The unit lacks all of its exterior enclosures, and it looks like this beautiful and heavy stainless steel chassis,” Zompetti says.

Control circuits circuits with AirPower prototype.
Picture: Giulio Zompetti

For submitted photos Limit, you’ll see an AirPower mat powered by a prototype iPhone with 22 reels on the front and 22 control circuits on the back. For this AirPower prototype to work, it must be connected to special iPhone prototype hardware to activate the windings.

“It doesn’t work with production equipment because the device raises the coils,” says Zompetti, who says he has been able to charge two prototype devices at the same time. Zompetti says he received the device in December and was able to interact with it initially via a flash cable.

“It’s a technical prototype, it’s not meant to be plug and play,” says Zompetti. “When I plugged in the flash cable, I noticed some signs in the log, so after I corrected the BAUD value, I was able to read the understandable log.” There’s even an interactive shell that interacts with AirPower as part of the device’s design.

Apple’s canceled AirPower cushion was supposed to let you drop devices anywhere to charge it thanks to multiple reels without having to find that sweet spot. But various reports suggested Apple struggled with overheating problems during development. “I couldn’t repeat the problem, but I still can’t say it doesn’t exist,” Zompetti says.

Although we have not been able to independently inspect the AirPower because it is very rare, Zompetti has collected prototype hardware from Apple. He has been collecting equipment since March 2018, inclusive a rare prototype of the first Apple Watch. “Since then, my main passion has been finding the most spectacular prototypes,” Zompetti says. He has collected about 35 units to date, and his collection includes a variety of rare iPhone and iPod prototypes.

This passion has led Zompet to travel to engineers to repair old equipment. “It’s almost always about finding and repairing broken or incomplete units to bring them to life,” Zompetti says. The unreleased AirPower device is “definitely the best” prototype hardware he has found so far, he says.

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