Ahead of Apple’s ‘Hi, Speed’ iPhone 12 event, I wrote about a leaked wireless charger that foretold the company’s MagSafe revival. A few hours later, Apple confirmed those rumours to be true when it officially unveiled MagSafe for the iPhone 12 series.
At the time, I wasn’t sure about the potential applications of MagSafe beyond lining up wireless charging pads and phones with magnets. Apple quickly dispersed that as a secondary, perhaps even tertiary function. I’d argue the true purpose of MagSafe isn’t so much about charging as it is a new way to accessorize iPhones. If you don’t believe me, just keep an eye out for all the third-party accessory makers that are about to launch all kinds of MagSafe products, or relaunch existing products with MagSafe added in. PopSockets are a prime example.
As reported by TechCrunch, the popular accessory is getting magnetic for the new iPhone lineup. PopSockets has sold over 165 million of its ‘Grips’ since the company launched in 2014. However, the company also developed variations of the product to make people’s lives much easier.
You see, the basic PopSocket Grip features a sticky pad that adheres to the back of your smartphone. Over time, the pad can lose its adhesiveness, but PopSocket says customers can rinse the Grip with water, let it dry for 10 minutes then stick it back on. Once they’ve let it set for a couple hours, they should be good to go again. It’s a bit of a tedious process, however.
As such, the company launched PopSocket Grips with interchangeable covers called Pop Tops so people don’t have to remove the whole PopSocket to change up the look. The company also partnered with OtterBox to launch cases with built-in PopSockets.
With that in mind, a MagSafe version of the PopSocket, if not entirely necessary, is a smart move. It would mean iPhone 12 owners won’t have to deal with adhesives on their phone, or bulky cases or any of that other nonsense. Just snap the PopSocket on with magnets and away you go.
TechCrunch does note that MagSafe could open PopSockets up to more competition since other companies could just leverage MagSafe instead of developing their own adhesive to compete with PopSocket’s patent-protected Grips tech.
PopSockets says that it’s developing MagSafe-compatible products, but they aren’t available yet. However, I expect these will be on shelves around the same time as the iPhone 12 to entice customers. That said, existing adhesive PopSockets should still work with the new iPhones, so if you’ve already got a PopSocket you probably don’t need to get a new one yet. It also remains to be seen how strong the MagSafe connection is and whether it’ll grip as well as PopSocket’s adhesive.