Ring of magnets could make iPhone 12’s wireless charging easier

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Wireless charging could be easier on iPhone 12.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The new iPhone 12 chassis could include a mysterious circular array of 36 magnets inside its chassis, possibly to help with wireless charging, suggest new images posted to Weibo and shared by the EverythingApplePro Twitter account.

Apple has yet to release a native wireless charger for iPhone. Its most notable move in this direction was the AirPower wireless charging mat, which was announced by Apple and then canceled. Rumors since then suggest that Apple might be continuing work on the project.

There’s not much more beyond this initial image to suggest what Apple could have planned. As seen by innovations like Apple’s (tragically abandoned MagSafe) connector, Apple has previously found some very cool uses for magnets as part of its devices.

Wireless charging requires that users line up the charger properly with their phone. That means that it’s possible to put your iPhone down on the charging mat for a prolonged period of time, only to discover that it hasn’t been charging at all. A magnet-based approach could help it line up with the charger.

Will this turn out to be accurate? We’ll have to wait and see. It does make a whole lot of sense, however, for a company that’s so fixated on neat usability details that it even makes sure that the Apple Pencil text ends up visible when you roll your iPad stylus on a table.

Wireless charging and more: What to expect from iPhone 12

This year’s iPhones will reportedly offer an iPad Pro-style redesign, a 5nm A-series chip, faster 5G connectivity and more. Apple is supposedly set to release four models in total, with iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro variations in two sizes each. It’s not clear which, if any, will include this magnetic array.

What are you hoping for from the iPhone 12? Let us know in the comments below.