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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Apple's iPhone 12 models have a built-in ring of "MagSafe" magnets that make them compatible with magnetic accessories like cases, chargers, and wallets. Apple makes MagSafe accessories, but third-party companies are also able to design MagSafe products.

magsafeguidelines1.jpg

As highlighted on Twitter, Apple has an Accessory Design Guideline [PDF] that goes into great detail on the kinds of magnets accessory makers can use, the orientation, and other design specifics Apple is requiring.

Cases that have a MagSafe magnet, for example, must enclose the device, have a maximum thickness of 2.1mm, and must firmly attach to the device without relying on the magnets, which means no magnetic snap-on cases that won't otherwise stay attached to the iPhone.

Apple's own iPhone 12 ad has a scene where a case appears to "click" on using the MagSafe magnets, but first and third-party cases in reality don't work that way, and Apple doesn't intend them to.


The design document is extensive and has specific placement, dimension, and polarity instructions so that all MagSafe accessories can magnetically self align "within a 1.55mm radial maximum. Cases with magnet arrays must not interfere with either wireless charging or magnetic stripe cards in an attached iPhone Leather Wallet, and Apple has special testing protocols for vendors to use.

magsafeguidelines2.jpg

There are also recommended magnet array vendors and requirements for the magnets used, with Apple requiring them to be N45SH NdFeB with a 7 μm - 13 μm NiCuNi plating finish. Magnetic force required to dislodge a MagSafe accessory has specific guidelines. Apple says a case attached to an iPhone 12 should take a minimum of 800 gf (gram force) to dislodge and a maximum of 1100 gf.

Accessory makers that want to have a label that denotes their accessory as a MagSafe-capable device must comply with Apple's guidelines. Those interested in reading more on Apple's guidelines can check out the full PDF document.

Article Link: Apple's Design Guidelines Give Accessory Makers Specific Details on Making MagSafe Products
 

diego.caraballo

macrumors 6502
Oct 18, 2013
250
697
I’m puzzled right now. If the magnets are no intended to keep the accessories attached...what’s the point of the “orientation magnet” besides to screw with multi-coin wireless chargers? Is not like that you can put a case upside down??!! Seems a waste of resources to put this extra magnets in magsafe cases. The puck neither uses it as well.
 

ouimetnick

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2008
3,321
5,253
Beverly, Massachusetts
I’m pretty sure the only point of this new MagSafe feature is to condition the end customer to “prepare” for an iPhone with out a lightning port. Nothing magical or game changing about this except that it charges faster than the traditional 7.5W Qi charging standard with magnets to ensure it is properly placed (rather than be improperly placed at night and not charge through the night).
 

mattster16

macrumors 6502a
Apr 18, 2004
723
443
I’m pretty sure the only point of this new MagSafe feature is to condition the end customer to “prepare” for an iPhone with out a lightning port. Nothing magical or game changing about this except that it charges faster than the traditional 7.5W Qi charging standard with magnets to ensure it is properly placed (rather than be improperly placed at night and not charge through the night).
You might be right here, I'll be slightly disappointed though. Corded charging is still faster and more efficient (and also ubiquitous). I also wonder about CarPlay on cars that don't support wireless Carplay.
 

iVoid

macrumors 65816
Jan 9, 2007
1,135
162
"Cases that have a MagSafe magnet, for example, must enclose the device,"

Doesn't that mean Apple's own Magsafe wallet is not compliant since it just slaps on to the back of the phone?
 

SeaFox

macrumors 68030
Jul 22, 2003
2,583
895
Somewhere Else
I also wonder about CarPlay on cars that don't support wireless Carplay.
Clearly if you're in this situation you need to buy a new car. /s
I guess someone might make a wireless dongle for a car to add wireless Carplay capability.

Dictating platement, number, and even the very type of magnets used... One deliberate side-effect of Apple being so heavy-handed about how third-party accessory makers add Magsafe to their products is now no third-party accessory can be made that performs better than Apple's own wares.
 

BumpMan

macrumors newbie
Dec 18, 2007
19
8
Cases that have a MagSafe magnet, for example, must enclose the device, have a maximum thickness of 2.1mm, and must firmly attach to the device without relying on the magnets, which means no magnetic snap-on cases that won't otherwise stay attached to the iPhone.
I believe you are misinterpreting the information. They are talking about the magnet array assembly itself not the accessories that contain them.

For example the magnet array has to be securely attached to the inside of the case by more than just the magnetic properties of the array itself. For example screws/glue/mechanical clips, etc... are required. It has nothing to do with the case having to firmly attach to the phone.

When they say it must enclose the device, they are saying the accessory case must fully enclose the magnet array as to be not visible, removable etc... They're not talking about the case enclosing the phone - they're talking about the case enclosing the magnet array.

The 'device' here is the magnet array assembly not the phone. Does that make sense?
 
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SashJ

macrumors regular
Oct 10, 2017
130
111
Does anyone think MagSafe Pocksockets will be a successful thing? I was so looking forward to them, but now I feel like it will be a complete failure. No point if the phone falls off over and over again when using it.
 
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BumpMan

macrumors newbie
Dec 18, 2007
19
8
Does anyone think MagSafe Pocksockets will be a successful thing? I was so looking forward to them, but now I feel like it will be a complete failure. No point if the phone falls off over and over again when using it.
Will be totally possible, will just have a thin circular 'base plate' that magnetically attaches to the phone so that your fingers will wedge between the base plate and the pop socket preventing your fingers from dislodging the accessory instead of between the phone and the pop socket which would potentially pull it off easily. No big deal, will definitely happen and sell millions.
 
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PickUrPoison

macrumors G3
Sep 12, 2017
8,131
10,721
Sunnyvale, CA
Does anyone think MagSafe Pocksockets will be a successful thing? I was so looking forward to them, but now I feel like it will be a complete failure. No point if the phone falls off over and over again when using it.
Why would the phone fall off over and over again? 800 gram-force would seem to be sufficient.

I think some are underestimating the ecosystem that is/will be developing around MagSafe. I think it’s going to be a huge success. Is it royalty free?
 

PickUrPoison

macrumors G3
Sep 12, 2017
8,131
10,721
Sunnyvale, CA
I’m puzzled right now. If the magnets are no intended to keep the accessories attached...what’s the point of the “orientation magnet” besides to screw with multi-coin wireless chargers? Is not like that you can put a case upside down??!! Seems a waste of resources to put this extra magnets in magsafe cases. The puck neither uses it as well.
The magnets are intended to keep accessories attached.
 

terraphantm

macrumors 68040
Jun 27, 2009
3,794
613
Pennsylvania
I’m puzzled right now. If the magnets are no intended to keep the accessories attached...what’s the point of the “orientation magnet” besides to screw with multi-coin wireless chargers? Is not like that you can put a case upside down??!! Seems a waste of resources to put this extra magnets in magsafe cases. The puck neither uses it as well.
For things like the wallet that have an intended orientation
 
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polyphenol

macrumors 6502a
Sep 9, 2020
749
828
Wales
Those magnet arrays are available on eBay right now. They might not be to spec but I was amused to see them at all.

There are many available on direct-from-China websites. Some look pretty rough even in their own promotional photos but a) they might work effectively anyway; b) better ones will surely be on the way.

[Adding]

Forgot to say, they are (as you've probably already realised) much less expensive than eBay.
 
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kugino

macrumors 65816
Jul 10, 2003
1,120
109
canʻt ppl build really powerful magnets that arenʻt to appleʻs specs, but just not have them have the apple-blessed certification? seems like a car mount would be perfect that way, but the magnets will have to be more powerful, beyond the specs in appleʻs guidelines.
 

polyphenol

macrumors 6502a
Sep 9, 2020
749
828
Wales
canʻt ppl build really powerful magnets that arenʻt to appleʻs specs, but just not have them have the apple-blessed certification? seems like a car mount would be perfect that way, but the magnets will have to be more powerful, beyond the specs in appleʻs guidelines.
About two weeks ago, on 20th October, I posted: Accessory Design Guidelines for Apple Devices

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/accessory-design-guidelines-for-apple-devices.2261930/

I have been considering buying some small magnets to play with. Readily available and inexpensive ones tends to be discs. But I can't see that they wouldn't work.Maybe I will see if I try some... ?
 
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