Apple’s cancellation of its AirPower wireless charging pad product is a black eye to its innovation image. The move marks the first time a product rolled out during one of its famed launch events isn’t going to see the light of day.
What's going on here?!
Apple chalked up the cancelation to it not being able to bring the product up to meeting its high standards. What does that say about what is supposed to be the world’s most innovative company?
Add its lackluster launch event this week, and you have a company that seems to be increasingly in the catch-up business, instead of the innovative business.
When it announced the AirPower in 2017, Apple said the charging technology “was not possible with current standards,” but that Apple “knows how to do this.” 18 months later, it is cancelled in a unprecedented move. Our latest (plus 2 photos I took of it): https://t.co/sKgjos7M1J pic.twitter.com/sI0GgbN0oQ
— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) March 29, 2019
Say What? Apple Product Not Good Enough
Much to its chagrin, Apple acknowledged a product fail Friday afternoon. The highly acclaimed AirPower pad Apple teased during its 2017 launch event won’t be lifting off. The pad was supposed to charge iPhones, the Apple Watch, and the AirPods all at once.
TechCrunch published some parts of the email Apple sent it about the cancelation.
“After much effort, we’ve concluded AirPower will not achieve our high standards and we have cancelled the project. We apologize 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.”
TechCrunch said the AirPower had “tough engineering problems related to the laws of physics. The writer said:
Specifically, I’ve heard that they ran too hot because the 3D charging coils in close proximity to one another required very, very cautious power management.
Always worth reading @gruber’s show recaps. The AirPower situation is real - heat is a problem and it was shown off too early. Sometimes Apple does this and eng rises to the challenge and delivers. Sometimes, physics. https://t.co/2YNlpPO1qO
— Matthew Panzarino (@panzer) September 16, 2018
The Fail That Gave Apple A Black Eye
Longtime Apple bull and analyst Dan Ives of Wedbush Securities didn’t mince words when expressing his disappoint with Apple.
He recalled the red carpet rollout of the AirPower in 2017.
"This is a major black eye for Apple. A product that was touted by Tim Cook himself never even makes the shelves, it's a complete shocker. [The cancellation] does not move the needle financially speaking but it's a hit to the golden Apple brand."
Is Innovation Dead At Apple?
Apple observers are still trying to decide what to make of that lackluster product event the company held this week. It unveiled a string of subscription services, including news TV and video games. It didn't unveil any new products, such as another iPhone.
The AirPower cancelation only aggravated Ives. He noted that for the three years, Apple innovation from a product perspective in homepod and offerings “hasn’t been anything to write home about.”
The idea that this could happen at Apple speaks of “some of the bloom coming off the rose.” Ives especially took issue with the failed launch because the pad was supposed to part of the company’s unified product strategy.
“That’s really more of the worry and calls into question about its issues with [research and development]. This is an embarrassment from a product perspective. This shows that the tide is turning in Cupertino.”
Headwinds for Apple include the acceptance of the string of services it plans to roll out. It also faces continued selling pressures, especially in emerging markets.
Apple is also smarting over a legal finding this week that it infringed on Qualcomm patents. The judge in the case plans to recommend a ban on some China-made iPhone imports.
On all this news this week, Apple’s stock has dipped, but has since recovered. The cancelation announcement came after the market’s close Friday. The stock barely moved.