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Apple is working on a MagSafe-compatible battery pack for the iPhone 12, which unlike prior Smart Battery Cases for earlier iPhones, will attach to the iPhone 12 models with magnets.

magsafe-charging-brick-feature.jpg

The battery pack will be easy to pop on and off the iPhone, and because it will be easily removable, it won't be as bulky or as awkward as prior Apple-designed battery options. The MagSafe battery pack isn't out yet, but this guide covers everything we've heard about it so far.

Current Rumors

Signs of a MagSafe battery pack were first spotted in code in the iOS 14.5 beta, which had a reference to an unannounced "battery pack." The name was notable because there is no current product that Apple calls a battery pack, as prior Apple-designed battery options were referred to as Smart Battery Cases.

After code was found in the beta, Bloomberg confirmed Apple's work on a MagSafe battery pack, which has reportedly been in development for at least a year.

Design

The MagSafe battery pack attaches to the back of an iPhone, and some of the prototypes have featured a white rubber exterior.

Previous Smart Battery Cases have been available in white, along with black and blush pink, so we could see some of the same color options with the MagSafe battery pack. It's likely that the MagSafe battery pack will have a silicone coating similar to Apple's silicone iPhone cases.

There's no word yet on what size the battery pack will be nor how thick it will be, but again, the Smart Battery Case perhaps gives some clues.

smarbatterycaseback.jpg
Apple's Smart Battery Case​

All of the Smart Battery Cases had a hump on the back where the battery was housed, so we could see the MagSafe battery pack work in the same way and it could be the same approximate size as the Leather Wallet attachment, another MagSafe accessory that goes on the back of a MagSafe iPhone.

Magnetic Strength

According to Bloomberg, Apple has extensively tested the magnetic strength of the MagSafe battery pack to make sure that it stays firmly in place when charging.

Charging Speed

A MagSafe battery pack would perhaps charge the iPhone 12 models at the same speed as a standard MagSafe charger, though that's not guaranteed and the charging could be slower because of the lack of a power adapter. The MagSafe charger charges the iPhone 12, 12 Pro, and 12 Pro Max at a maximum of 15W, and the iPhone 12 mini at a maximum of 12W, but that charging speed may not be necessary for a battery pack that stays attached to the back of the phone while you're on the go.

Development Problems

Apple has been working on the MagSafe battery pack since before the iPhone 12 models launched, but Apple has run into software issues that have delayed the accessory's launch.

Apple is trying to solve an issue that causes the iPhone to erroneously report that the battery pack is overheating, and there are also problems when a user switches between using the MagSafe battery pack when a case is attached and when the case is removed.

That there are problems may not come as a surprise to those who have owned Apple's previous Smart Battery Cases because there have been issues with some of them. Apple in 2020 launched a replacement program for Smart Battery Cases designed for the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR, as some of these cases were experiencing charging issues.

Alleged Features

Leaker Jon Prosser, who has a mixed track record when it comes to predicting Apple's plans, says that there will be two versions of the the MagSafe battery pack, one of which will feature feature "reverse charging."

It's not clear what "reverse charging" means in this context. It may be able to charge more than one device at a time, such as charging the iPhone and the AirPods at one time, or it could refer to the iPhone being able to charge the battery pack when plugged into a Lightning cable.

Alternate Options

Other companies are developing MagSafe-compatible battery pack options. Anker, for example, has introduced the PowerCore Magnetic 5K Wireless Power Bank, which is designed to adhere to the back of a MagSafe iPhone using the magnetic connection.

anker-powercore-magsafe-battery-pack-side-profile.jpg

Anker's Magnetic PowerCore Power Bank is not designed using Apple's official MagSafe system and is only able to charge an iPhone at a maximum of 5W.

Release Date

Because of the development issues that Apple has run into, it is not clear when the MagSafe battery pack will be released, and Bloomberg has said that there's a chance it could ultimately be delayed or canceled.

Article Link: Apple's Upcoming iPhone 12 MagSafe Battery Pack: Everything We Know
 
Last edited:

MedRed

macrumors regular
Jun 9, 2007
151
453
All of that inefficiency... Would rather it attach with MagSafe and plug in via the lightning port on the phone. The wireless aspect would be great if you could charge your phone from an outlet or something and have your phone wirelessly charge the battery pack while it's still attached.
 
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johnmarki

macrumors member
May 13, 2020
64
109
I'm looking forward to this product. Not necessarily to get one at first, but to see if it hints at what the future holds for wireless iPhone charging/io going forward.(ie; design, power, capabilities)
 
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840quadra

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Feb 1, 2005
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I am not looking forward to a Port free iPhone. I understand that Lightning is aging and could be on the way out, however I feel it would be better for Apple to invest in USB-C and advance the waterproofing / robustness of that standard as opposed to dropping all ports.

The lossy nature of inductive charging, and added thermal stress on batteries / components is not something I am looking forward to.
 
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4jasontv

Suspended
Jul 31, 2011
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I am not looking forward to a Port free iPhone. I understand that Lightning is aging and could be on the way out, however I feel it would be better for Apple to invest in USB-C and advance the waterproofing / robustness of that standard as opposed to dropping all ports.

The lossy nature of inductive charging, and added thermal stress on batteries / components is not something I am looking forward to.
Between MagSafe, Qi, and BT I rarely find myself using the port. For me, it's just another point of failure. I'd rather see a MagSafe 3.5mm and MagSafe USB C adapter.
 
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jz0309

macrumors 68000
Sep 25, 2018
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Temecula, CA
I am not looking forward to a Port free iPhone. I understand that Lightning is aging and could be on the way out, however I feel it would be better for Apple to invest in USB-C and advance the waterproofing / robustness of that standard as opposed to dropping all ports.

The lossy nature of inductive charging, and added thermal stress on batteries / components is not something I am looking forward to.
100% agree with you! the losses of wireless charging are not something you want to put in your environmental report ...
 
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jz0309

macrumors 68000
Sep 25, 2018
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Temecula, CA
Between MagSafe, Qi, and BT I rarely find myself using the port. For me, it's just another point of failure. I'd rather see a MagSafe 3.5mm and MagSafe USB C adapter.
while I have been through many lightning cables, I have never experienced a "port issue" on an iPhone more iPad, and do not recall that people have reported issues here on MR (but I could be wrong about that).
While I currently charge wirelessly, I regular plug my phone into my Mac for the old fashioned iTunes backup ...
 
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God of Biscuits

macrumors member
Sep 17, 2007
86
76
One possibility of “reverse charging”: plug in your phone via lightning with battery pack attached and both will be charged up.
 
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-DMN-

Suspended
Jan 21, 2019
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More Freedom than Yours
So you get the added benefit of more battery but now minus the protection of a case? Seems like a step backwards to me. Also with a case you’ll never lose connection, with Magsafe your phone could easily stop charging. PROGRESS!!!
 
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farewelwilliams

macrumors 601
Jun 18, 2014
4,433
16,878
So you get the added benefit of more battery but now minus the protection of a case? Seems like a step backwards to me. Also with a case you’ll never lose connection, with Magsafe your phone could easily stop charging. PROGRESS!!!
hard to take off. i only need extra batteries during longer trips or when i forget to charge at night. putting on and taking off the case is too difficult.

also you'll need to buy a new battery case for every new phone. this magsafe battery will likely work for the next 5 iPhones + other accessories.
 
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farewelwilliams

macrumors 601
Jun 18, 2014
4,433
16,878
100% agree with you! the losses of wireless charging are not something you want to put in your environmental report ...
people are already throwing away their iPhone battery cases because they don't fit on the new phones.
with a battery magsafe, it'll likely work for the next 5 iPhones.

cost of building one battery case and shipping it to the customer probably equates to thousands of kWh lost.
 
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DeepIn2U

macrumors G3
May 30, 2002
8,441
3,131
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
All of that inefficiency... Would rather it attach with MagSafe and plug in via the lightning port on the phone. The wireless aspect would be great if you could charge your phone from an outlet or something and have your phone wirelessly charge the battery pack while it's still attached.
This is a portable solution. Still can use USB then plugin
 
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Daum

macrumors regular
Apr 18, 2015
143
93
Oh surely it’s not as bad as 50% efficiency?!
Do the Googles my friend. I don't mind the speeds but I don't want a large pack stuck to my phone. 5000mah battery pack is pretty thick.
 
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votdfak

macrumors 6502
Mar 15, 2011
428
256
Call me pyrophobic but when it comes to power/charging of electronic devices, the phrase “I‘ll try my luck with...” isn’t one I tend to use.
True that, but Anker is also selling **** on Ali. There are some reputable companies on Ali, I am using Ugreen gan charger, satisfied.

I am going to get this one probably.

YKZ
 
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SFjohn

macrumors regular
Sep 8, 2016
190
147
while I have been through many lightning cables, I have never experienced a "port issue" on an iPhone more iPad, and do not recall that people have reported issues here on MR (but I could be wrong about that).
While I currently charge wirelessly, I regular plug my phone into my Mac for the old fashioned iTunes backup ...
My lightning ports over the years require constant cleaning from pocket lint & the cables need replacing as well. It all wears out over time,
 
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