Apple has created a guidelines document for third-party manufacturers who want to create their own MagSafe accessories for the iPhone 12.
It contains specific guidance, such as the fact that MagSafe cases must have a a maximum thickness of 2.1mm, and should be capable of clinging on securely to an iPhone without necessarily having to rely on the magnets to do so.
The 13-page section is part of Apple’s comprehensive “Accessory Design Guidelines for Apple Devices” document. Alongside the above details, it suggests three magnet vendors that can be used. There’s also information on the arrangement of the magnets, the fact that all magnets should be “positioned in the same plane,” and more. You can check out a PDF of Apple’s advice document here. The MagSafe accessories instructions start on page 82.
For following these all of these guidelines, manufacturers can list their products as Made for iPhone. This shows that the accessory is considered safe and okay to be officially used with iPhones.
MagSafe: Controlling the user experience on iPhone 12
Apple’s insistence on end-to-end control can sometimes make things tough for third party manufacturers. Back in the early days of the iPhone, Steve Jobs did not even want to open up the platform to developers. This was out of fear that it would compromise the quality of iPhone apps. He was eventually convinced otherwise.
With the MagSafe feature of the new iPhone, Apple was open from the start that it wanted to build an ecosystem for new devices that would extend way beyond things built by Apple.
It’s easy to look at Apple’s insistence on the exact thickness of cases to be used with the iPhone and think it’s more Apple perfectionism at work. That may not be totally misguided considering the kind of control Apple likes to exert over materials used with its products. But it also makes a lot of sense. Advertised iPhone accessories that don’t work properly with iPhone reflect badly on Apple — even if it’s not made them.
Furthermore, any time you’re using magnets there’s a risk that you could accidentally wipe magnetic cards. It could also be too heavy to be properly supported by the iPhone. Apple may be looking out for its own best interests. But it also knows better than anyone what does and doesn’t work with the iPhone MagSafe feature.
Have you had the chance to check out the iPhone 12 MagSafe feature yet? What do you think of it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.