Apple brings back a familiar face: meet MagSafe for iPhone

Apple brings back a familiar face: meet MagSafe for iPhone
Apple’s MagSafe magnetic chargers were an iconic part of the MacBook experience, but they were discontinued over the past few years in favor of USB-C. Now, Apple is bringing them back for the new iPhone 12 series

Announced today at the Hi, Speed Apple event, MagSafe for iPhone is included on all of the new iPhone models and offers a new option for wireless charging, and connectivity. It’s made possible by a magnet array around the wireless charging coil, which allows MagSafe chargers (which retail for $39) and accessories to snap easily into place, just like on the MacBooks of yesteryear. 

Other than charging, Apple also released a line of cases that retail at $49 for each new iPhone model, which snap into place the same way. The MagSafe charger can also be used on top of the cases as well, as can any other Qi charger—the magnets will help keep your phone aligned even with conventional wireless chargers. Of course, you'll need to supply your own charging adapter now that Apple will not be including them in the box with iPhones.

When you’re not charging, Apple also wants you to buy a MagSafe leather wallet that’s meant to hold your ID and credit card when you’re on the go, with RFID protection against digital theft. The wallet is available in four colors, can be mixed and matched to any of the MagSafe cases, and retails for $59.

All of these MagSafe accessories can be found in the Apple Store, but they're not available for purchase yet, likely because the iPhone 12 series is also not shipping until October 23. In the future, Apple is apparently planning a collapsible wireless charger that can top up your iPhone and Apple Watch at once. Beyond Apple’s own products, the MagSafe standard will also be supported by third-party accessory makers, including a forthcoming car mount from Belkin.

Apple isn’t the first to implement magnetic chargers on a mobile device, of course, but it’s almost guaranteed to produce a robust ecosystem of supported accessories based on this standard. We’re looking forward to seeing how Apple and others will continue to develop more uses for this new addition to the iPhone’s feature set.

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