From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Type Smartphone wireless power transfer connector
Manufacturer Apple Inc.
Produced 2020
Superseded Qi
Hot pluggable Yes
External Yes

MagSafe is a proprietary magnetically-attached wireless power transfer and accessory-attachment standard used originally on the Mac series of notebooks since 2006. The new version was introduced by Apple Inc. on 13 October 2020, in conjunction with the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro series. It provides up to 15 W of power and is backwards-compatible with the open Qi standard for up to 7.5 W of power. The connector also enables connecting non-charger accessories such as card holders and cases with communication through an integrated NFC loop.[1] Apple released two MagSafe-compatible chargers: MagSafe, a single charging pad for iPhone and MagSafe Duo, a double charging mat for iPhone and Apple Watch.[2]

Similar technology was first introduced in 2009 with the Palm Pre Touchstone system with a magnetically-attached wireless charger dock.[3]


The MagSafe for iPhone

The MagSafe name was first introduced with the 2006 MacBook Pro, and began to be phased out upon the release of the fourth-generation MacBook Pro, which use USB-C for charging.[4] The final MacBook to use MagSafe was discontinued in early 2019.

In 2017, Apple announced that they had been working on a device called AirPower, which was a wireless charging mat capable of charging an iPhone, AirPods, and an Apple Watch (which uses a proprietary wireless charging system) simultaneously and be placed anywhere on the mat. However, it was canceled in early 2019 due to overheating issues with the many overlapping coils.

Apple reintroduced the MagSafe brand name on 13 October 2020 as a universal ecosystem of wireless charging, during the “Hi, Speed” Apple Special Event.

The MagSafe charger has a disc made with aluminum and soft polyurethane that contains recyclable rare-earth magnets surrounding a Qi wireless charging coil, attached to a 1-meter-long USB-C cable. The magnets allow for the MagSafe charger to align automatically and attach to the magnets on compatible devices. The first compatible products are the iPhone 12 series, which have magnets surrounding the Qi wireless charging coil inside of the back of the device. The charger delivers up to 15 watts of power on iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max and 12 watts on iPhone 12 Mini. It can also charge other Qi-certified devices - including older iPhone models and AirPods - with a lower power transfer rate; it then needs to be manually aligned as those devices do not have the round array of magnets that interlock with the MagSafe charger.

The charging mechanism is much like the charger used to wirelessly charge an Apple Watch. MagSafe for iPhone aims to solve the problem of smartphones not being properly aligned to a standard wireless charger, which could result in little to zero amounts of charge. MagSafe is the first commercially available Qi wireless charger manufactured by Apple, succeeding the never-released AirPower charging mat.

Apple then released a 2-in-1 style of the MagSafe charger called MagSafe Duo Charger, which contains a MagSafe charger on one side, and an Apple Watch charger on the other side. The Apple Watch charger disc can be raised to a 90 degree angle to charge a watch with a closed wristband. The MagSafe Duo charger can be folded when not in use.

Apple has also implemented MagSafe into their line of cases, and other accessories, including leather wallets. Apple mentions that the MagSafe charger can work through their cases, and accessories such as the leather wallet can magnetically attach to the back of their cases as well. Apple also mentions that the leather wallets are shielded to protect credit cards from the rare-earth magnets used in these accessories, although warns that credit cards shouldn't be placed between an iPhone and a MagSafe Charger.[5]


  1. ^ "Apple Event — October 13".
  2. ^ "Apple Events - October 2020". Apple. Retrieved 16 October 2020.
  3. ^ "Palm Pre's wireless charger, the Touchstone". Engadget. Retrieved 14 October 2020.
  4. ^ Bowe, Tucker (28 May 2020). "What Ever Happened to One of the MacBook's Best Features?". Gear Patrol. Retrieved 14 October 2020.
  5. ^ "How to use your MagSafe Charger with iPhone 12 models". Apple Support. 2 November 2020. Retrieved 29 December 2020.