'Znaps' Adds MagSafe-Style Connectivity to Your Lightning Cables

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Znaps is a new Kickstarter project that aims to make connecting a Lightning cable to your iPhone or iPad as simple as connecting a MagSafe charger to your MacBook. Znaps consists of a connector that plugs into the Lightning port on your iOS device, and an adapter for your Lightning cable that lets it connect to the port magnetically.

With the Znaps Connector and Adapter, a Lightning cable can snap onto your device using magnets, making it quicker to connect and charge an iPad or iPhone. There's also a version for devices that use Micro-USB.

Let's make charging easier! ZNAPS is a simple yet perfect solution to prevent frayed charging cables, tripping over cable resulting in smashed phones, pointless fiddling to plug in cable in the dark, water damage through charging outlet, and more! This innovative magnetic charging adapter will make your life just a bit more convenient.
Znaps is small enough that it will work with a wide variety of custom iPhone cases that leave the Lightning port exposed, and as the project's creators point out, it can cut down on the hassle of fumbling to get a Lightning cable plugged into an iPhone or an iPad.

Znaps works for both charging and syncing, and a small LED light on the adapter will light up when a device is being charged. The magnetic field it uses is "negligibly small" according to the project's creators, and will not cause damage to the internal components of the iPhone. It also does not enhance or impede charging times.


A Znaps Connector and Adapter for Lightning or Micro-USB can be obtained for a pledge of $11 Canadian, or just under $9. There are also several other tiers available at different price points for purchasing multiple Znaps.

Znaps are projected to ship in late November of 2015, but as most of us have experienced on Kickstarter, there are projects that miss shipping estimates by months, especially when orders exceed expectations, so prospective purchasers should keep that in mind when backing this project.

Article Link: 'Znaps' Adds MagSafe-Style Connectivity to Your Lightning Cables
 

glenthompson

macrumors 68020
Apr 27, 2011
2,232
293
Florida
This could get expensive as I have lots of lightning cables so we can charge our devices anywhere in the house or car. I like the concept and wish Applehad done this originally.
 
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rig0rmortis

macrumors newbie
Jul 20, 2015
1
6
So many people are going to lose money on this. This clearly infringes on Apple's patents regardless of what their lawyer told them. It's in the FIRST SENTENCE of the patent.

"Magnetic connector for electronic device

Abstract

An electrical plug and receptacle relying on magnetic force to maintain contact are disclosed."

I won't sit here and argue about semantics but Apple has the lawyers and the patent know-how to win this case. Good luck to anyone who backed.
 

Mick-Mac

macrumors regular
Oct 24, 2011
247
539
Yes, Apple should have done this (ESPECIALLY for the new MacBook)
Yes, If this crowd own a pair pants then Apple will sue it off them.
 

togglemedia

macrumors newbie
Feb 6, 2012
19
13
Toronto, ON
So many people are going to lose money on this. This clearly infringes on Apple's patents regardless of what their lawyer told them. It's in the FIRST SENTENCE of the patent.

"Magnetic connector for electronic device

Abstract

An electrical plug and receptacle relying on magnetic force to maintain contact are disclosed."

I won't sit here and argue about semantics but Apple has the lawyers and the patent know-how to win this case. Good luck to anyone who backed.
My favourite line in their FAQ is:

What about this patent from Apple?
Our patent lawyer did a patent search before we started the project. This is one of the reasons why we didn’t develop ZNAPS into a whole charging cable. We haven’t infringed on Apple's patent.​

The patent has nothing to do with "cables", but everything to do with "a plug that uses magnets to retain contact while conducting electricity"...which is PRECISELY what this Znaps does.

Sounds like their lawyer was Znapping on the job. I'd get a new lawyer if I were them.
 

zhenya

macrumors 604
Jan 6, 2005
6,703
3,316
Yeah, this sounds like a case-study of a kickstarter project put together knowing full-well that it will never go anywhere past the introductory video and all that backer money will disappear into someone's pockets.

Anyone thinking of backing this, please remember, Kickstarter is not a store and you are not placing an 'order' by backing a project!!
 

togglemedia

macrumors newbie
Feb 6, 2012
19
13
Toronto, ON
Yeah, this sounds like a case-study of a kickstarter project put together knowing full-well that it will never go anywhere past the introductory video and all that backer money will disappear into someone's pockets.

Anyone thinking of backing this, please remember, Kickstarter is not a store and you are not placing an 'order' by backing a project!!
Shocked that MacRumors didn't recognize the red flags in this scam right away. It's pretty blatant. They really should update the article with a warning, unless this is an adverticle paid for by Znaps.

Patent issues notwithstanding, Znaps hasn't even accounted for the $4 per Lightning connector licensing fee they will be on the hook for, just to be compatible and compliant with the Lightning connector protocol. Each of the two pieces of the "adapter" would be subject to the $4 licensing fee, as they are sold separately. As such, Znaps is selling a product for $9 that will cost them $8 in licensing.
 

OldSchoolMacGuy

Suspended
Jul 10, 2008
4,197
9,049
So many people are going to lose money on this. This clearly infringes on Apple's patents regardless of what their lawyer told them. It's in the FIRST SENTENCE of the patent.

"Magnetic connector for electronic device

Abstract

An electrical plug and receptacle relying on magnetic force to maintain contact are disclosed."

I won't sit here and argue about semantics but Apple has the lawyers and the patent know-how to win this case. Good luck to anyone who backed.

Exactly. Apple will never approve it as it doesn't comply with the licensing requirements.

And this would also mean I'd have to buy all new cables to use with it. Forget that.
 

iansilv

macrumors 65816
Jun 2, 2007
1,053
335
Pretty sure this infringes on Apple's patent. I expect this will be shut down pronto.
Yeah I think someone tried this before and got shut down, they were trying to add MagSafe to older MacBooks or something. Either way, it's not like Apple hasn't thought of this... There is a reason it's not added and it's likely because they have the patent and are waiting to add it to a new phone design.
 

iansilv

macrumors 65816
Jun 2, 2007
1,053
335
Shocked that MacRumors didn't recognize the red flags in this scam right away. It's pretty blatant. They really should update the article with a warning, unless this is an adverticle paid for by Znaps.

Patent issues notwithstanding, Znaps hasn't even accounted for the $4 per Lightning connector licensing fee they will be on the hook for, just to be compatible and compliant with the Lightning connector protocol. Each of the two pieces of the "adapter" would be subject to the $4 licensing fee, as they are sold separately. As such, Znaps is selling a product for $9 that will cost them $8 in licensing.
Oh! I didn't know that- yeah.... Not going to fly...
 

oneMadRssn

macrumors 603
Sep 8, 2011
5,246
12,208
Europe
So many people are going to lose money on this. This clearly infringes on Apple's patents regardless of what their lawyer told them. It's in the FIRST SENTENCE of the patent.

"Magnetic connector for electronic device

Abstract

An electrical plug and receptacle relying on magnetic force to maintain contact are disclosed."

I won't sit here and argue about semantics but Apple has the lawyers and the patent know-how to win this case. Good luck to anyone who backed.
Doesn't matter as much what the first sentence or the abstract say. What matters is what the specific claims of the patent are.
 

mw360

macrumors 68000
Aug 15, 2010
1,668
1,600
My favourite line in their FAQ is:

The patent has nothing to do with "cables", but everything to do with "a plug that uses magnets to retain contact while conducting electricity"...which is PRECISELY what this Znaps does.

Sounds like their lawyer was Znapping on the job. I'd get a new lawyer if I were them.
Now actually you can't just read the summary of a patent and declare any matching design to be infringing, the details matter and the accused product must match in the details too. Apple's patent describes a connector which at one side is connected to the device and at the other is connected to the charger (or other electrical relation). Since this product isn't actually connected to anything they may have some wiggle room.

Shocked that MacRumors didn't recognize the red flags in this scam right away. It's pretty blatant. They really should update the article with a warning, unless this is an adverticle paid for by Znaps.

Patent issues notwithstanding, Znaps hasn't even accounted for the $4 per Lightning connector licensing fee they will be on the hook for, just to be compatible and compliant with the Lightning connector protocol. Each of the two pieces of the "adapter" would be subject to the $4 licensing fee, as they are sold separately. As such, Znaps is selling a product for $9 that will cost them $8 in licensing.
They may very well not have to pay any such fees. Their device doesn't need to interact with the Lightning protocol at all. They can just wire pin-to-pin and the cable or connector wouldn't even know the adapter was there.
 

2457282

Suspended
Dec 6, 2012
3,327
3,014
I have never had a situation where a magsafe connection would have been better on my iPhone. However, I do see how it could prevent some damage. For me, I am happier with the lightning cable compared to the 30pin connector. But hope they will figure their design out and choose either USB-C or lightning for all their devices. There really is no reason to have the lightning cable for iDevices and USB-C for the Mac line. As for this toy, $9 is fine and I will probably pick one up if it ever sees the light of day. But as has been stated already, there seems to be a bit of risk in backing the company at this point. When it's available on Amazon Prime - that's when I am ordering it.
 
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