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iPhone 12 MagSafe equipment: How Apple’s new snap-on magnets work

MagSafe facilities a appropriate charger on new iPhones utilizing an array of magnets.


This story is part of Apple Event, our full coverage of the latest news from Apple headquarters.

Apple’s four new iPhone 12 fashions — that are now available to preorderall come with 5G, better cameras and the return of a beloved function Apple lengthy used on MacBooks: the MagSafe charger

MagSafe for iPhone 12 makes use of a magnetic connection to connect a wi-fi charger and a doubtlessly endless supply of magnetic accessories you’ll be able to snap on, comparable to instances, docks, mounts and even a pockets.

The iPhone 12, 12 Mini, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max characterize a daring new route for Apple and a brand new means for iPhone house owners to make use of their telephones. 

We’ll take a look at MagSafe on the iPhone 12 as quickly as potential. In the meantime, this is a take a look at what Apple says MagSafe does, the way it works and the way you would possibly use it when you improve. And this is why MagSafe is Apple’s sleeper feature that’s bigger than you assume.

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How does MagSafe work on the iPhone?

The new iPhone 12 units are embedded with what Apple describes as “an array of magnets” (Apple says they’re recycled) round a centered charging coil that may pull as much as 15 watts of energy — twice as highly effective as wi-fi charging on earlier iPhones (however on par with telephones from different manufacturers). 

When you carry the charging finish of the facility wire near the iPhone’s again, these magnets will pull it into place. The similar goes for different MagSafe equipment and, relying what you are clipping on, your iPhone will show a short animation associated to the accent to verify that it is locked on.

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iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, Pro and Pro Max defined


Will new iPhones include a MagSafe charging cable?

No, Apple will embody solely a USB-C-to-Lightning cable (and no power brick or earbuds) within the field with new iPhones. Apple’s two MagSafe charging cables — one standalone and one other that additionally expenses an Apple Watch — shall be offered individually, however Apple confirmed that not less than one different producer, Belkin, shall be promoting MagSafe-compatible charging cables as properly.

How a lot will Apple’s MagSafe equipment price and when will they go on sale?

The standalone MagSafe iPhone charger is accessible for preorder for $39, with delivery listed as two to a few weeks. Clear and silicone instances price $49 with delivery in 7 to 10 enterprise days. The leather-based pockets prices $59 and ships in 5 to 6 weeks. No phrase but on the twin iPhone and Apple Watch charger’s worth or availability. 


Apple additionally unveiled a MagSafe-compatible leather-based pockets that clips on to new iPhones and prices $59.


Which equipment use MagSafe?

Besides the charger, Apple introduced a leather wallet as well as an array of leather, silicone and clear cases (the pockets may be added on high of the instances). Wireless charging shall be potential utilizing the instances however is unavailable with the pockets hooked up. 

Beyond that, you’ll be able to anticipate third-party accent makers to make use of their imaginations within the coming weeks and months. Possibilities embody mounts, like for the sprint in your automotive, and docks to your nightstand, desk or desk.

Won’t the magnets mess up my financial institution playing cards?

Apple says the pockets accent is specifically shielded to forestall injury to bank cards, debit playing cards and the like.

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Does MagSafe mess up waterproofing?

No, each iPhone 12 is rated IP68, which means waterproof as much as 6 meters for 30 minutes. In reality, MagSafe wi-fi charging might result in even larger waterproofing, if Apple ever decides to go portless

Do I’ve to make use of MagSafe to cost my iPhone? 

No, each iPhone 12 will come packaged with a USB-C-to-Lightning cable (you will want to produce the facility brick). The Lightning port on the telephone itself shall be backward-compatible with the Lightning chargers you already personal.

iPhone 12 Magsafe all combinations layout

MagSafe equipment like chargers and the pockets may be stacked atop others, like instances.


Will my present wi-fi charger work with the brand new iPhones?

Yes, the brand new iPhones are backward-compatible with current Qi-enabled wi-fi charging units. If your outdated gadget provides 7.5 watts of energy, that is how a lot your new iPhone will draw, nevertheless it’s able to pulling as much as 15 watts.

Interestingly, the brand new MagSafe charger can be backward-compatible with older iPhones (however will solely ship 7.5 watts). 

Didn’t Motorola have magnetic equipment first?

Yes. In 2016, the Moto Z series introduced a phone that connected magnetically to Moto Mods: instances, wireless battery packs, a projector, a mobile gaming console and even a flowery DSLR-like camera rig with optical zoom

While Motorola issued magnetic Moto Z telephones for a number of extra years, the intelligent modules by no means caught on (even Motorola didn’t always seem enthusiastic), and neither did the big ecosystem of accessories of which Motorola foretold. We’ll see if Apple, with its world standing and devoted followers, stands a better chance.


The Motorola Z3 used magnets to hook up with equipment (known as “Moto Mods”) all the best way again in 2016.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

How did MagSafe work on MacBooks?

The authentic MagSafe on MacBooks was a solution to magnetically connect Apple’s proprietary energy cable to the laptop computer, designed to snap off with a tug. It was included within the identify of security. 

Accidentally tripping over an influence wire not meant worrying about launching your laptop computer throughout the room or falling your self, for the reason that magnet was highly effective sufficient to attach the cable however nonetheless free sufficient to tug free within the occasion of a mishap. On the iPhone, MagSafe appears to be extra about mobility, making it simpler to attach and disconnect to each energy and equipment.

Thinking about upgrading to a brand new iPhone? Check out the differences between the four iPhone 12 models Apple introduced, how to prepare your current iPhone before you upgrade, and everything to know about the 5G included in Apple’s new iPhones.

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