The cancelled Nothing Power (1) was almost the best portable charger on the market

Remember the Apple AirPower? Back in September 2017, Apple announced a wireless charging device with the ability to simultaneously charge up to three devices, including Qi-compatible devices, at high speeds. It was cancelled before it ever saw production, but later on, a different (and equally ambitious) project came to life on the opposite side of the world: the Nothing Power (1) 65W portable wireless charger.

Nothing’s design for a high-speed, portable wireless power bank was a Swiss Army Knife of charging capability; even containing its own internal battery to charge several devices on the go. And yet, it flew a little too close to the sun. Like the AirPower preceding it, the Nothing Power (1) was cancelled internally before it ever saw the light of day.

In a sudden — and rather informative — interview between Nothing Head of Content Heru Prasetyo and Nothing CEO Carl Pei, published on October 24, we now know exactly what happened during the Nothing Power (1) development process that caused its downfall. For what it’s worth, we also now know that it existed in the first place (though some rumors floated around about it in 2021). It’s unfortunate, too, given how useful the translucent, uniquely-shaped charger would have been.

Designer: Nothing

Creating a wireless charging mat and a high-powered 65W charger (like Nothing’s 65W GaN Charger) require two different design approaches; the former needs to be able to support the weight and size of several devices, while the latter needs a bit more bulk to charge at rapid speeds. The Nothing Power (1) tried to be both things at once, and as a result, the heavy plastic casing required to hold the device together became its point of breakage.

Around the halfway point of the interview, Pei explained Nothing’s ultimate decision with an easy-to-follow analogy: “Think about it this way: if you’re in a car, driving somewhere, and you realize you’ve put the wrong location in the GPS, would you keep driving a bit more just to get to your final destination, or would you just do a U-turn to get to where you actually need to be?”

According to Pei, dropping the device would cause it to crack, and the team ultimately decided it wasn’t worth putting more time, effort, and resources into making it work. Another major issue was pricing, as the CEO mentioned it was a challenge figuring out how to balance the cost of production with a price that consumers would pay for.

The admittedly less ambitious Nothing Phone (1) Power (45W) is still set to release in the United States on October 30 for an MSRP of $35, though it’s only designed to charge a single Nothing Phone (1) at one time, and it requires a wall outlet to deliver a charge, meaning it isn’t exactly portable. A 45W charger with the power to deliver a 65% charge in 30 minutes is still a win for stateside Nothing Phone owners, even if it isn’t the product Nothing originally wanted to put into production. The Nothing Phone (2) recently released in the United States, marking a series first; you can read our review right here.