Forget AirPower, meet AirUnleashed – yes, someone is launching one that works
We really wanted Apple’s AirPower mat to appear and we were gutted when it was cancelled. But, fear not, for a third-party version of the mat is in production and will ship in the coming weeks.
AirUnleashed is the name of the mat – see what they did there – and yes, it will charge your iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods simultaneously. It costs $99 and you should have it in your hands by the end of May if you order now.
The 12mm-thick Qi-compatible mat has a specific point for attaching the Apple Watch, so it’s different than Apple’s design where – in theory – you could place the Apple Watch anywhere.
AirUnleashed’s product blurb explains how its mat is fundamentally different than Apple’s failed project: “Apple’s wireless charging patent shows that they were trying to achieve this by using up to 32 overlapping charging coils. This introduced challenges like overheating and electromagnetic interference, which Apple ultimately did not (yet) overcome.
“The AirUnleashed uses three charging coils side-by-side and therefore does not have the challenge of using a large amount of overlapping coils.”
The mat doesn’t ship with a power adapter, just a USB cable, but it does require a higher-powered adapter (minimum current of 2A at 5V or 10W) than the iPhone plug which is 5W. So the 12W iPad adapter would be fine, for example.
Apparently, only Series 3 and 4 Apple Watches are supported on AirUnleashed but the two side coils are Qi, so in theory, you could charge anything that’s Qi compatible.