A video of a seemingly functional AirPower prototype has been shared on Twitter by Apple device collector Giulio Zompetti, in what appears to be a first-of-its-kind look at the elusive charger in action.
The video shows a unique on-screen iOS animation when the iPhone is placed on the AirPower charging mat, which has only previously been seen in Apple’s early marketing materials, making it the first time this animation has been seen in the wild. An iPhone on the AirPower charger would have shown the charge of all of the devices that were placed on the pad.
AirPower was an Apple-designed charging mat designed to charge Qi-based iPhones, the Apple Watch, and AirPods that Apple announced in September 2017 alongside the iPhone X. It was designed so that users could place an iPhone, AirPods, and Apple Watch on any portion of the mat to have the device charge, which meant that multiple overlapping charging coils had to be included.
Photos allegedly depicting the AirPower surfaced on social networks in August 2020, showing a multi-coil design and the device’s internal circuirty, but this is the first video footage of a rare and seemingly functional prototype that presumably leaked out of Apple’s development supply chain.
According to reliable Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman, Apple is still looking into AirPower-like charging solutions for the future.
Zompetti is an avid collector of Apple prototype devices and has previously shared images of an Apple Watch Series 3 prototype with additional connectors, an original iPad with two 30-pin ports, an iPhone 12 Pro prototype, a third-generation iPod touch with a rear camera, and rare original Apple Watch prototypes.