Apple may be making a magnetic battery pack for its iPhones
Apple has released a handful of MagSafe accessories since the iPhone 12 series was introduced, including a leather wallet and several cases. Now, a new report claims Apple is preparing another MagSafe accessory similar to its Smart Battery cases.
According to Bloomberg, Apple is developing a new battery pack that would magnetically attach to the latest iPhones and support wireless charging. Unlike the Smart Battery cases previously released by Apple, the new MagSafe accessory won’t serve as a full protective case. Evidence of a magnetic battery accessory actually showed up in a beta version of iOS 14.5 but was later removed.
Apple has reportedly been developing the attachment for over a year, with a possible launch in the coming months. Bloomberg reports that some prototypes of the battery pack have a white rubber exterior, but it’s unclear if Apple will go with that design in the final product.
Image of Apple’s Smart Battery case
It’s not even clear if there will be a final product. Development has reportedly been slowed by issues with the software thinking the battery pack is overheating. “Apple also has been working to mend issues related to a customer switching between using the device on an iPhone sometimes with and without a case,” Bloomberg said. These issues could see Apple scrap the accessory altogether.
Apple is reportedly being extra cautious with the new MagSafe accessory following the infamous AirPower blunder. In 2017, Apple introduced a wireless charging mat that promised to intelligently charge an Apple Watch, iPhone, and AirPods at the same time. But engineering challenges ultimately forced Apple to cancel the product.
So far, Apple has released a handful of MagSafe accessories that include cases, leather wallets, and chargers, including the MagSafe Duo charger, which can charge the iPhone and Apple Watch at the same time. A MagSafe battery from Apple would see the company compete with similar devices from other accessory makers.
Bloomberg’s report also said that Apple wants to eventually create an ecosystem where many of its devices support reverse charging. The feature was expected in the iPhone 12 series but was later canceled. Unfortunately, the report says that the new functionality, which is offered by some of Apple’s rivals, is “unlikely in the near future.”
Outside of the iPhone, MagSafe technology is expected to feature in other Apple products, including redesigned MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs.