Tesla has just launched a wireless charging base similar to AirPower, Apple’s aborted project. With this expensive accessory inspired by the CyberTruck, the company Elon Musk takes on a challenge that the iPhone manufacturer considers prohibitive.
In 2017, Apple proudly announced AirPower, a base capable of charging three devices simultaneously. After this fanfare launch, the company ran into a number of technical issues. Two years later, Apple realized the obvious: the project is technically not viable. AirPower has been cancelled.
An AirPower inspired by CyberTruck
Three years after the official abandonment of Apple’s charging base, Tesla has just launched a similar product in its American store. Mirroring Apple’s stillborn mat, the automaker’s accessories are capable of recharging “maximum three devices simultaneously”. The base delivers a power of 15 W, which corresponds to the average of other accessories on the market.
That’s what Tesla claims on its website ” the angular design » of the accessories are directly inspired by its CyberTruck, its futuristic pick-up. The loading mat is ” consisting of aluminum housing, alcantara surface (Editor’s note: artificial leather) premium quality and a removable magnetic stand that lets you lay the charger flat or tilt it ».
Not surprisingly, Tesla markets the base at a high price. In fact, it is necessary pay out $300 to grab the tool. This is much higher than competing solutions. Reserved for the US market, the charger will ship from February 2023.
Also read: Elon Musk believes that Tesla can surpass Apple
After Xiaomi, Tesla announces a real AirPower
Note that Tesla is not the first brand to market a charging mat similar to AirPower. In 2020, Samsung unveiled the Wireless Charger Trio, a much less ambitious 3-in-1 stand than Apple’s project. At the same time, many prop manufacturers have offered their version of the base. This is the case with Belkin or Betafresh, a Hong Kong company. This launched an unconvincing rug called AirUnleashed that we tested.
All of these solutions differed from Apple’s original project. In fact, the Cupertino giant aimed to design a mat that could revolutionary inductive charging. To start charging, all you had to do was place the iPhone, AirPods or Apple Watch anywhere on the mat. Apple planned to include many tangled coils to achieve this. The company planned to use about 20 coils. Unfortunately, this approach caused components to overheat.
On Samsung, Belkin or Betafresh mats, carefully place the device where the charging coil is integrated. All too often, the machine is misaligned, which prevents the optimal operation of the load. This is where Tesla’s solution comes into its own. Using technology provided by the company FreePower, the mat charges devices ” placed anywhere on the surface without precise adjustmentp »explains the company’s Elon Musk proudly.
De facto, Tesla’s would have to offer the same experience as that provided by Apple’s AirPower. For the record, Xiaomi achieved a similar feat in 2021. Last year, the Chinese brand presented the Mi Multi-Coal Charging Pad, a mat capable of working wherever you place your device. The company has pushed 19 copper spirals into the accessory, while avoiding overheating.
Apple, for its part, has turned to magnets. Unable to design the AirPower intended to revolutionize wireless charging, Apple actually inaugurated MagSafe magnetic charging in 2020. This technology keeps the iPhone aligned with the charging stand using magnets. Hidden in the iPhone and in the charger, the magnets ensure that the coils are correctly aligned.
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