Why USB-C not magnetic like MagSafe?

macbook123

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Feb 11, 2006
1,862
85
I've been wondering why the individual pins (which i imagine are just strips of conductive material) on the USB-C connector couldnt be part of a magnetic latch system like Magsafe, making it all the more convenient?

If so, couldnt one built an adapter to do this with ports like the one one the macbook?
 

jimboutilier

macrumors 6502a
Nov 10, 2008
647
42
Denver
Likely because there are a large number of conductors (24 I believe) and some transport pretty high frequency traffic so a magnetic connector that supported that many pins and that kind of RFI shielding that was reliable would likely be quite large and expensive.
 

headcase

macrumors 6502
Jul 4, 2007
342
28
Raleigh, NC
Personally, I'd prefer as a fall-back option now, that someone were to design a break-away USB-C cable, where the break away portion was located somewhere in the cable itself. I suspect it would sell.
 
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2015

macrumors member
May 30, 2015
38
5
Another great feature with the new MacBook is Apple doing away with the ridiculous MagSafe, that consistently kept falling out when not wanted.

RIP MagSafe!
 

Krevnik

macrumors 68040
Sep 8, 2003
3,517
794
Well, the trade off made here is that the cable is at least separate from the power brick. If it fails, it is likely going to be the cable, which will be cheaper to replace than the whole brick. Also, since the Apple power supplies have a tendency to wear/fray over time in the cable, this makes that a lower ongoing cost.

It feels like a meeting in the middle sort of trade off, but it is hard for me to say it is inherently worse than the ones MagSafe made. I'd need a lot of time with a rMB to know how I feel on that front.
 
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palmwangja

macrumors regular
Apr 12, 2015
126
16
Maybe somebody can make MagSafe - USB-C adapter, which nicely/aesthetically sit with macbooks?

If you are using USB-C for charging, you won't need all other pins after all.

Ooops, patent?
 

Macalway

macrumors 68030
Aug 7, 2013
2,728
1,131
It's a combined thing? Probably just wasn't feasible. I'm just glad it's a standard port. Man did I hate that whole Thunderbolt thing. I waited........
 

Queen6

macrumors G3
Maybe somebody can make MagSafe - USB-C adapter, which nicely/aesthetically sit with macbooks?

If you are using USB-C for charging, you won't need all other pins after all.

Ooops, patent?
A dedicated charging cable with a magnetic link would not be overly difficult to design & manufacture, equally the disconnect tension would have to be so low to stop the rMB "flying" it would likely be a more an irritation to the user than a useful product. Inversely if the disconnect tension is strong enough to prevent continuous interruptions to charging the rMB will just follow the cable if not placed on a high friction surface, which rather defeats it`s purpose...

Q-6
 

Theophil1971

macrumors 6502
Mar 20, 2015
388
168
USA
Magsafe did never (and does not currently) carry anything but power to any Mac. USB-C carries both power and data. As someone above stated, this involves the use of many more pins than just power (24pins vs 4 just for power). Creating a MagSafe port for 24 pins would be huge and unwieldy, and wouldn't fit on the laptop form factor.
More importantly, though - you wouldn't want MagSafe for a data port. Can you imagine saving files to an external HD and having the connection break lose because MagSafe let go? Even a thumb drive could become unsafely disconnected very, very easily. All kinds of data corruption or loss would result, making it a very foolish way to design a data port. The few voices that are raised in complaint now because of a lack of MagSafe on the USB-C port would turn into a cacophony of outrage by people decrying the loss of their data.
 
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Abazigal

macrumors G5
Jul 18, 2011
12,793
10,826
Singapore
My guess is for the same reason that the iPad and iPhones don't sport magsafe. The end-goal is for you to charge your macbook overnight, then be able to have it last a full work day without having to always be camping near a power point.

And as mentioned above - data.
 
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Kiwi 99

macrumors regular
Apr 4, 2011
142
30
I don't miss MagSafe at all. An issue for me with previous MacBooks was worrying about putting that corner next to something (eg memory card, money card, etc) that wouldn't like having an extremely strong magnet placed next to it.
Now, no magnet, no problem.
 

Soordhin

macrumors member
Apr 13, 2010
99
20
Berlin, Germany
Such a gimmick that they decided to include it in their newest product line...
Isn't the newest notebook product line the rMB which doesn't feature a magsafe? If you mean the watch, that is actually a gimmick since there is no noticeable usefulness for the user as he still has to take of the watch for charging.
 

squirrrl

macrumors 6502a
Sep 11, 2013
855
270
San Diego, CA
Isn't the newest notebook product line the rMB which doesn't feature a magsafe? If you mean the watch, that is actually a gimmick since there is no noticeable usefulness for the user as he still has to take of the watch for charging.
I would say it's not a gimmick for the watch since the lack of open ports helps water resistance
 

Mr. Buzzcut

macrumors 65816
Jul 25, 2011
1,037
487
Ohio
I would say it's not a gimmick for the watch since the lack of open ports helps water resistance
I think calling it MagSafe on the watch is a gimmick and confusing. The watch uses inductive charging. It's not the same thing. The magnet is there to locate the puck. If you pull the cord, guess what, your watch is coming with it! How is that "MagSafe"? The name should not simply describe something magnetic.
 

Mac 128

macrumors 603
Apr 16, 2015
5,360
2,927
Magsafe did never (and does not currently) carry anything but power to any Mac. USB-C carries both power and data.
A MacBook with a singe port is really designed for someone who never plugs anything into besides the power cable anyway. The MacBook doesn't weigh significantly less than the MacBook Air, nor does it have greater battery life. The only difference is that it has only one port, likely designed for the iPad user who only ever plugs a power connector into it (there's no reason to even ever plug it into a computer anymore).

So a MagSafe adapter only needs to supply power. A simple little plug that slips into the USB-C port allowing use of any existing MagSafe adapter.

But here's the rub. Most people do want to occasionally plug something into their MacBooks without unplugging something else, especially if it's power. A flash drive for instance loaded with pictures and movies, or a mouse. And they don't want to have to carry around a dongle to do that. So wouldn't it be nice if Apple had included two USB-C ports, one on each side, especially since there's no MagSafe connector. That way power can be plugged in on one side, leaving the other open for a flash drive, or a mouse. This is especially important since eventually someone is going to trip over the power cord, which could potentially damage the port, and then there's no redundant port to serve as backup. I don't think I've ever had a laptop that didn't develop a problem with the power port at some point (except for MagSafe). I've also had my share of failed USB ports, and was always thankful for two. With USB-C Apple has laid the ground work for a small connector that does everything, for the first time giving the user an option for power, and a potential backup. But instead of leveraging that accomplishment, they eliminate the benefits the technology brings with it, and seemingly handicap it in the process. A second port wouldn't take up any more room, nor make the laptop noticeably heavier. Yet for some reason it was out of the question. Bizarre.
 

SusanK

macrumors 68000
Oct 9, 2012
1,675
2,652
If fewer Macs fall to the floor from people getting tangled in the power cord there are fewer sales of new Macs. This one is easy to answer.
 

tigerduck

macrumors newbie
May 15, 2015
25
9
Shanghai, China
There is no mag safe because being a power adapter isn't USB 3.1 primary usage scenario. It's a convenient side effect of USB 3.1's design.

It's designed to attach things like hard-disks, monitors, etc. You don't want a magnetic adapter that's fairly easy to detach, e.g. during file transfer, which could lead to loss of data and make it annoying to work with USB 3.1.Hence the standard, and not Apple, mandates a regular plug design which is not magnetic.

And if Apple makes it's own proprietary USB 3.1 mag-safe adapter for it, then it's not an open standard any more. i.e. the benefits of standardization are lost, such as the hope that USB 3.1 gets wide-spread adoption and that there will be a whole - not necessarily Mac specific - USB 3.1 ecosystem.
 
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