The Apple Watch Series 3 is designed to be capable of refueling its battery life through the use of Apple’s AirPower wireless charging mat. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said of the smartwatch’s predecessors. 

On Wednesday, documentation for the Cupertino giant’s smartwatch series revealed that the wireless charging mat Apple is developing will not be capable of charging Apple Watch Series 1 and Series 2 devices. Only the LTE and non-LTE Series 3 installments will have support for AirPower’s wireless charging as indicated in the documentation. 

MacRumors reports that since all of the Apple Watch models feature inductive charging, it’s quite logical to surmise that they will all be capable of charging with the use of the AirPower mat. However, it appears some special hardware is needed for AirPower to work, and this technology may be shipping only with the Apple Watch Series 3 devices. Therefore, owners of older Apple Watch models would be stuck with their existing chargers even when Apple officially launches the AirPower. 

Previously, many thought that Apple’s wireless charging mat would be compatible with older watchOS-running wearables when the Cupertino giant unveiled the product at its Sept. 12 launch event. The day after the introduction of the device, MacWorld even reported that it will work with not only the Apple Watch Series 3, but also the Apple Watch Series 2, the original Apple Watch, the Apple Watch Edition, the Apple Watch Nike+ and the Apple Watch Hermes. Turns out this won’t be the case when AirPower arrives. 

The only consumers who would be benefitting from Apple’s oval-shaped charging mat would be those who will be purchasing the new Apple Watch Series 3 devices, as well as those who will be investing on the iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and the new AirPods that come with an upgraded wireless charging case. It is worth noting though that AirPower won’t be retailing until 2018, so owners of Apple’s latest products would have to make use of the chargers that will come with their devices until then. 

When Apple presented its new products during its Sept. 12 press event, it also teased consumers of a smarter way to charge all of their devices at once. The AirPower charging pad will basically eliminate the need for many cords and outlets to rejuvenate the company’s smartwatches, smartphones and wireless earbuds. Phil Schiller simply shared a “sneak peek of new wireless tech we’re working on” when he presented a slide showing the charging mat with some of the new devices refueling battery life on top of it. 

Apple’s newly announced devices come with glass backs and have Qi wireless charging technology. Ars Technica says this will open the doors for other companies like Belkin to create their own chargers for the iPhone X, Apple Watch Series 3 and other new devices. Nonetheless, Apple is aiming for its loyal consumers to patronize its wireless charging mat when it arrives, since it will be an efficient charging station for its new iPhones, smartwatches and the new AirPods. 

Apple Watch Series 3 Only the Apple Watch Series 3 lineup will be capable of refueling using Apple’s AirPower wireless charging mat. Photo: Reuters/Stephen Lam