Apple struggles to make MagSafe battery pack for iPhones

By

MagSafe on iPhone 12 Pro GIF
The MagSafe connector made a return with last year's iPhone refresh.
GIF: Apple

Apple reintroduced its MagSafe branding for the magnetic charging and clip-on accessories system for the iPhone 12. But it’s hoping to introduce the best accessory yet with 2021’s iPhone refresh: a magnetically attached battery back.

This will reportedly wirelessly charge handsets on the go, extending the time you can use your iPhone between charges. Unfortunately, Apple is apparently having a few teething problems with it — and these could prove fatal.

Bloomberg writes:

“In internal testing, the magnetic attachment system has proved strong enough for the charging unit to stay in place, but the accessory’s development has been slowed by software issues such as the iPhone erroneously indicating that the 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. Given the new accessory’s development challenges, it could ultimately be delayed or scrapped, the people said. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.”

Apple having issues with ambitious wireless charging tech is nothing new. Apple infamously tried to launch a wireless charging pad called AirPower in 2017. However, it never arrived and Apple later pulled the plug on the project in 2019. This was reportedly due to overheating issues.

Shades of the Smart Battery Case?

This wouldn’t be the first time Apple has released a battery pack for the iPhone. In 2016, Apple introduced the Smart Battery Case for the iPhone 6s. While functional, this was also notoriously one of the ugliest Apple designs in history. This proposed MagSafe battery accessory would be different not only because of how it connects to the device, but also because it will be a battery only, and not try and offer extra protection. (In other words, it won’t be a case.)

Bloomberg additionally notes that Apple has discussed other future MagSafe accessories internally. These include a potential in-car attachment. Apple has also discussed making it possible for Apple devices, such as the iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods, to charge each other. However, this is unlikely to arrive any time soon.

Source: Bloomberg