Apple just announced a new wireless charger that 'will be available at a later date.' The last time Apple did this, it ended up canceling the product.

  • Apple has unveiled a new wireless charging pad called the MagSafe Duo, which the company said will be able to charge an iPhone and Apple Watch simultaneously.
  • Apple didn't provide a release date for the MagSafe Duo, saying only that it will be available "at a later date." 
  • The new product resembles the AirPower, a wireless charging mat that Apple unveiled in September 2017 that the company said could charge an iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods all at once. At the time, Apple didn't provide a release date for the AirPower.
  • Apple canceled the AirPower in March 2019, saying the product was unable to achieve its high standards. 
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Apple this week unveiled its new MagSafe wireless charging pads, one of which, MagSafe Duo, can charge both an iPhone and Apple Watch at the same time. 

The MagSafe chargers work by magnetically snapping to the back of Apple's iPhone 12 models. The standard MagSafe charger and other MagSafe accessories will be available October 16, but Apple didn't provide a release date for MagSafe Duo, saying only that it will be available "at a later date." 

The MagSafe Duo isn't Apple's first attempt at a wireless charging pad that can deliver a charge to more than one Apple device at a time. 

In September 2017 at the launch event for the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, Apple's first phones with wireless charging capabilities, Apple announced AirPower, a wireless charging mat that Apple said would be able to charge an iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods all at once.

At the time, scant details were available about the seemingly revolutionary device, including how the pad would be powered, how much it would cost, and when exactly it would be released — though Apple said it would be coming some time in 2018.

By September 2018, however, AirPower still hadn't launched, and Apple blogger John Gruber wrote that he'd heard of issues with the device becoming too hot due to its multi-coil design, which aligned with a report from TechCrunch's Matthew Panzarino.

Then, in March 2019, Apple unveiled several new hardware devices, including updated AirPods. Pictured on the box for the new AirPods was a wireless charging mat that looking like AirPower, which led to speculation that the device could be on the verge of finally launching. 

But by the end of that month, Apple announced it was scrapping AirPower altogether.

"After much effort, we've concluded AirPower will not achieve our high standards and we have canceled 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," Dan Riccio, Apple's senior vice president of hardware engineering, said in a statement to Business Insider at the time.

While Apple has delayed the release of its devices in the past, canceling something outright was an exceedingly rare move for the company. Now, three years after its initial foray into multi-device wireless charging, Apple is making another attempt at a wireless future. 

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