Rumours suggest Apple plans to revive its ‘MagSafe‘ branding with new wireless chargers that attach to the iPhone 12 series with magnets, and now a third-party wireless charger allegedly designed to work with this new magnetic system has surfaced online.
To start, the rumours began back in August when reports indicated Apple was working on a new wireless charger after the failure of its ambitious AirPower project. Since then, details have suggested Apple would incorporate a ring of magnets into the new iPhones that would help position it on the charging mat.
Finally, two leakers shared details about how Apple plans to launch two wireless chargers with ‘MagSafe’ branding. MagSafe, for those who may not remember, was the charging connector used on old MacBooks before the company switched to USB-C. The MagSafe connector used magnets to secure the cable in the port. Apple touted it as a safety feature since if someone tripped over the charging cable, it’d just pop harmlessly out of the port instead of pulling the whole computer off the table or damaging the cable or port.
A third-party charger allegedly for the iPhone 12 sports a magnet ring
With all this in mind, a Macotakara post spotted by 9to5Mac shows what it believes to be a third-party wireless charger allegedly designed for use with the new iPhone 12 devices. 9to5 points out that if the charger could be licensed under Apple’s Made for iPhone (MFi) program.
Macotakara explains that MPOW Japan announced the wireless charger, which supports the “charging position adjustment function using a magnet” available in the new iPhone. The magnets appear to be arranged in a ring shape around the charging coil. The iPhones reportedly sport a similar ring inside the back panel that allows it to be securely placed on the charger.
While the return of MagSafe certainly seems legitimate, it’s not clear how beneficial the change will be. It’s possible that the magnets could make the wireless chargers more convenient or more efficient by ensuring optimal placement every time.
Some have also touted the idea that if the charger connects via magnets, people would be able to pick up and use their iPhone with the charger attached, unlike current wireless chargers with no magnets. To me, that sounds a lot like using a charging cable with extra steps, so I’m not sure how much Apple will push that angle of the feature. It’s also possible there’s a reason we aren’t aware of yet. If magnetic wireless chargers are the next big iPhone accessory, we’ll likely learn more at the Apple event this afternoon.
Image credit: Macotakara