While the iPhone 12 range has proven popular from a design perspective, with fans and reviewers alike praising its sleek, sharp-edged shape, the same can't quite be said for its accessories. The magnet-powered MagSafe feature has led to a few dubious design choices from Apple – and yet another has just emerged online.
When Apple launched the new phones last month, the absence of any leather cases was rather conspicuous. After nearly a month's delay, a selection finally landed online on Friday. But in a rare move for Apple, the company has admitted a curious design quirk – and even revealed it in product images. It might make some of the best camera phones, but when it comes to producing great accessories, it seems Apple isn't quite on the case this year.
The final image for each iPhone 12 leather case reveals a circular imprint on the back, which Apple admits is caused by the new MagSafe charging system. Back when the feature was revealed, some were concerned that the magnets could end up damaging cases – and it seems those fears weren't unfounded.
"Interaction with MagSafe accessories will leave slight imprints (as shown in the last image of the gallery)," Apple's leather case listings explain (opens in new tab). "If you are concerned about this, we suggest you use an iPhone 12 | 12 Pro Silicone or Clear Case." Judging by the images, by "slight imprints," Apple means a massive, indented ring. And while not entirely revolting (it sort of works that the Apple logo is centered in the circle), we wouldn't say it's ideal.
Believe it or not, this isn't the first time Apple has explicitly pre-empted visible damage to one of its products. Back when the iPhone 7 launched in 2016, the company explained that the 'Jet Black' variant's "high shine may show fine micro-abrasions with use." In other words, it scratched easily.
In revealing photo evidence of the leather case's "slight imprints", Apple seems to be making it clear that it expects the issue to affect a fair few users. But its advice to opt for a clear case might not go down well either – that particular monstrosity was recently called Apple's ugliest ever design.
And Apple's MagSafe woes don't end there. As well as cases, the company revealed a leather wallet designed to snap to the back of the iPhone 12. A great concept – if it wasn't prone to falling off.
Still, these missteps show that even a company renowned for the quality of its design doesn't always get it right (who can forget the abominable Mighty Mouse 2?). Thankfully, Apple has had many more hits than misses over the years – check out the 10 most beautiful Apple products – and the 5 ugliest. And don't forget to take a look at our Apple Black Friday page for all the best deals available today.