We've already seen tons of leaks regarding Apple's upcoming iPhone 13, with all manner of new tech rumoured to be hitting the device. But if a new leaked patent filing is anything to go by, the next generation of iPhones could also see the surprising return of an older feature, last seen on the MacBook over half a decade ago.
According to the new patent, Apple is working on a brand new charging standard for the iPhone involving MagSafe. Yep, it seems the magnetic tech introduced with last year's iPhone 12 could soon replace the standard Lightning port. (In the market for a new smartphone? Check out the best camera phones available right now.)
As spotted by Patently Apple (opens in new tab), the filing (below) reveals a version of MagSafe much akin to the old version which first appeared on Apple's MacBooks in 2006. Unlike the current lightning port, knocking or tripping over a magnetic charging cable is unlikely to result in a smashed phone. Magnetic charging was eventually replaced by USB-C on MacBooks from 2015 onwards.
With Apple also rumoured to be resurrecting MagSafe charging for the next MacBook Pro, it seems the company is dead set on bringing magnets back. Which, let's be honest, is surprising – Apple is far more famous for unceremoniously dumping features (headphone jacks, 3D touch, chargers in the box) than it is for bringing old ones back from the dead.
But let's not forget – MagSafe hasn't exactly had the most auspicious start on iPhone. With last year's iPhone 12, Apple introduced several accessories that can attach magnetically to the back of the device. But with wallets prone to falling off, cases prone to damage and the ugliest iPhone case we've ever seen, MagSafe's first year on iPhone hasn't exactly been Apple's finest hour.
Still, things could be looking up for the sort-of-but-not-quite new tech. Last week, we heard that the first truly useful MagSafe accessory could soon be on the way. And for anyone prone to tripping over their cables, a magnetic charging port could prove to be a screen saviour. Indeed, anything that reduces the need for a solemn-faced trip to the Genius bar can only be a good thing.
Time will tell if MagSafe charging arrives with the iPhone 13 – but you don't have to wait around to pick up an incredible, future-proof iPhone. Check out today's best iPhone 12 deals below, and be sure to head to our Apple deals page for more brilliant offers.