AT&T Reportedly Developing Wireless Charger That Powers iPhone and Apple Watch Simultaneously


There are reportedly several problems with the development of Apple's AirPower, a wireless charging device that can power up an iPhone, an Apple Watch, and the AirPods all at the same time.

Practically no further information about it has been released since Apple unveiled the device in September 2017. The delay isn't a good look for Apple — especially when AirPower isn't the sole device that can charge up iPhones.

AT&T Power Drum

Other manufacturers have taken Apple's development snafu as an opportune time to launch their own experiments. One such example is AT&T, now rumored to be developing something called the Power Drum. Filings at both the Federal Communications Commission website and the Wireless Power Consortium portal reveal that the carrier is working on a portable wireless charger and power bank meant to charge up both an Apple Watch and an iPhone at the same time. Any Qi-compatible smartphone will supposedly work with this so-called Power Drum as well.

The Power Drum's Qi charger, the topmost part, supports output of up to 10W, although it's worth noting that the iPhone is limited to 7.5W. The Apple Watch is located below, with the smartwatch supposed to wrap around the cylindrical device when charging, as indicated by the illustrations.

AT&T Power Drum Compatibility

Oddly enough, the filings don't mention the Apple Watch Series 4 as a supported device. One reason could be AT&T had planned to release the Power Drum earlier this year; the Apple Watch Series 4 wasn't unveiled until September.

In any case, here are the following specifications for the Power Drum:

• Made for: Apple Watch Series 3, Apple Watch Series 2, Apple Watch Series 1, Apple Watch (First generation)

• 2-in-1 portable charger, charges an Apple Watch and Qi-enabled wireless device simultaneously

• 3000mAh capacity battery

• Built-in magnetic charging module for Apple Watch

• LED charge indicators

• Input: Micro USB

• Output: up to 10W on select wireless charging devices and up to 5W on Apple Watch

One drawback to the device is its microUSB port, which is inferior to USB Type-C. Perhaps AT&T started developing this at a time when USB Type-C wasn't in the mainstream yet. As for the price, the supporting documentation reveals that the Power Drum will cost $100. A release date is unavailable at the moment.

Thoughts about the AT&T Power Drum? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!

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