It seems fair to say that MagSafe, Apple's new magnetic charging tech for the iPhone 12, didn't get off to a great start. From wallets with weak magnets to damage-prone cases, the company didn't seem to hit its familiar design bullseye with MagSafe. But a rumoured new accessory could help the tech come into its own in 2021.
A new report suggests Apple is working on a battery pack designed to magnetically attach to the back of the iPhone. It's a concept fans have been crying out for since MagSafe was announced – indeed, anything that can make one of our best camera phones last even longer can only be a good thing.
Apple is planning a MagSafe wireless battery pack accessory - but it’s faced some development issues. Details on that and more: https://t.co/I7yHun5bWPFebruary 19, 2021
According to Bloomberg (opens in new tab), Apple is working on various prototypes for the MagSafe battery pack, including some models with a protective rubber exterior. The report suggests the accessory has been in development for over a year, with some development issues related to overheating. Let's just hope this one doesn't go the way of that other Apple charging accessory with an alleged overheating problem, AirPower (spoiler alert: it got canned).
In theory, a magnetic battery pack would operate like Apple's Smart Battery Case for previous models – only without the case aspect. While this would forgo the protective element, it ought to result in something much smaller and lighter – and let's not forget, the Smart Battery Case (below) wasn't exactly Apple's finest hour, design-wise (in fact, it's one of our 5 ugliest Apple products ever).
A portable, magnetic battery life seems like the perfect accessory for MagSafe, so it's no wonder fans have been mocking up concepts for the last few months. We're particularly fond of this sleek render by Parker Ortolani (the designer behind our favourite iPad mini concept):
Mocked up a quick MagSafe battery… pic.twitter.com/LcjaGBR9MTNovember 4, 2020
Indeed, the accessory could help MagSafe finally prove its worth. So far, Apple's magnetic iPhone 12 peripherals haven't been up to scratch, with the MagSafe wallet prone to falling off, and its leather cases susceptible to magnet-inflicted damage. Providing it doesn't, you know, fall off, a portable charger could become the first magnetic addition to our best power banks list.
It might only be February, but the iPhone 13 is already sounding like an incredible upgrade. Time will tell whether the magnetic battery pack will launch alongside it in the iPhone's traditional September slot this year – but if it does it's likely to also be compatible with the already brilliant iPhone 12. Check out today's best iPhone 12 deals below, and be sure to visit our main Apple deals page for more brilliant offers.
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