Gears & Gadgets

Apple faces development hurdles with MagSafe battery pack accessory

Bloomberg has published yet another report sharing details of a planned Apple product launch. This time, the publication’s sources say Apple is working on a magnetically attached battery pack for iPhones—it would be the first Apple-designed iPhone battery pack that does not double as a case.

The accessory would use the MagSafe feature introduced with the iPhone 12 lineup in October. It would magnetically attach to the back of new iPhones and presumably provide power wirelessly via the Qi standard that iPhones have adopted. According to Bloomberg’s sources, the first prototypes have a “white rubber exterior.”

Apple has also already shipped some MagSafe accessories for the iPhone, including a charging cable that uses the magnets and other components to optimally align the charging coils and produce faster charging speeds than were possible with previous iPhone models with non-MagSafe Qi charging capability.

The MagSafe moniker was first used for Mac laptops that had a magnetic charging port. In that case, faster charging was not part of the pitch; instead, the goal was to reduce the risk of damage to the computer if its power cord was kicked or yanked. With MagSafe, the cable would gently pop out instead of tugging at the device itself.

Apple gradually culled MagSafe from its MacBook product line over the past few years, but rumors are circulating that the company plans to reintroduce it with new MacBook Pro or MacBook Air models due later this year.

There is no sense as to when Apple might ship this new iPhone MagSafe battery product. The report claims that Apple had aimed to “launch in the months following the iPhone 12 line” but that the product has been delayed due to struggles on the software side of development.

Specifically, the software has reported to testers that the battery pack is overheating even when it is not.

Apple is likely to take a conservative or cautious approach when introducing new battery or charging products, given that its once-announced AirPower charging mat never saw the light of day, and various gadget companies (perhaps most infamously Samsung) have faced widespread reports of fire or injury resulting from faulty batteries and power systems.

Listing image by Samuel Axon

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Tech – Ars Technica

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