We all know that Apple’s definitely going to put out a new iPhone (or four) this year, and probably a fresh iPad and Apple Watch, too. But the company is also rumoured to have a few unexpected accessories in the works, one of them being an attempt at a wireless charging mat. Again.
Apple isn’t actually going to reboot AirPower, which was designed to be a do-it-all charger for juicing up your iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods but was cancelled after a lengthy delay. At the time, Apple said the mat didn’t “achieve our high standards.” According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple went back to the drawing board to make a “smaller wireless charging mat” reportedly due out this year.
In a note to investors today, first obtained by 9to5Mac, Kuo also predicted that Apple will release a pair of high-end headphones, which could directly compete with the Apple-owned Beats lineup.
Kuo didn’t offer any details around the charging mat or headphones, which are expected to launch alongside a quartet of new iPhones this autumn. The former would likely be a scaled-down version of AirPower, with the ability to charge only one device. Heat management issues with the charging coils reportedly contributed to AirPower’s cancellation, though accessory makers like Mophie have released similarly designed charging mats with no issues. (The Mophie mat is the shit, if you’re in the market for an accessory that can charge a trio of Apple devices.)
It’s also unclear what a set of premium Apple-branded headphones would include. The on-ear Beats Solo Pro released last autumn under Apple’s supervision already sport excellent build quality, the company’s H1 wireless chip, and really good active noise-cancellation. It would be interesting to see Apple fully take on Bose and Sony with a pair of insanely good over-the-ear, noise-cancelling headphones. Of course, those headphones would pair seamlessly with iPhones, as AirPods do.
Kuo is also predicting that Apple’s long-rumoured Tile tracker competitor will appear this year. Tile is already pretty pissed about Apple’s reported plan to release its own Bluetooth tracker, with Tile execs recently appearing before the US Congress to decry Apple’s anti-competitiveness. The tracker was expected to launch last year, but it didn’t.
A 13-inch MacBook Pro with redesigned scissor-key keyboard and a cheaper, smaller iPhone are also reportedly on deck, but we’ve been hearing about those products for months.