MagSafe (wireless charger)

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MagSafe
MagSafe (logo).svg

MagSafe (iPhone).png
The MagSafe Charger for iPhone
Type Smartphone wireless power transfer connector
Production history
Manufacturer Apple Inc.
Produced 2020
Hot pluggable Yes
External Yes

MagSafe is a proprietary, magnetically attached wireless power transfer and accessory-attachment standard developed by Apple Inc. for its iPhone and AirPods product lines. It was announced on 13 October 2020, in conjunction with the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro series. It provides up to 15 W of power and is 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 chargers using the MagSafe standard in 2020: the MagSafe Charger, a single charging pad for iPhone, and the MagSafe Duo Charger, a charging mat with MagSafe and an Apple Watch charger.[2] Apple has also licensed the MagSafe standard to third parties to develop chargers and cases. In 2021, Apple released the MagSafe Battery Pack and added MagSafe charging to AirPods and AirPods Pro.

History[edit]

The MagSafe name was first used by Apple for its MacBook lineup, beginning with the 2006 MacBook Pro. It began to be phased out upon the release of the fourth-generation MacBook Pro in 2016, which used USB-C for charging.[3] MagSafe was discontinued across MacBooks in 2019, but reintroduced with 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models released in October 2021.[4]

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

Apple announced MagSafe along with the iPhone 12 series on 13 October 2020 during the “Hi, Speed” Apple Special Event as a universal ecosystem of wireless charging and accessories. Apple's chargers based on MagSafe are their first to use the Qi standard, following the development of AirPower.[5] The MagSafe receptacle on iPhones, internally called MagSafe Attach,[6] uses magnets to align automatically and attach to a Qi charger, ensuring reliable charging.[7][8]

On 18 October 2021, Apple released the 3rd generation AirPods and an updated SKU of AirPods Pro with a bundled MagSafe charging case.[9]

In 2023, the Wireless Power Consortium announced the Qi2 standard that is based on MagSafe.[10]

Chargers and accessories[edit]

MagSafe Charger[edit]

The MagSafe Charger is a single charging pad that contains recyclable rare-earth magnets surrounding a Qi wireless charging coil attached to a 1m USB-C cable. The MagSafe Charger delivers up to 15 W of power on the iPhone 12 and 13 series, with the exception of the iPhone 12 Mini and 13 Mini, which support 12 W.[11] The Wall Street Journal found MagSafe charged at half the speed of a 20W wired charger.[12] MagSafe can also charge other Qi-certified devices, including older iPhone models and AirPods, though testing has found that MagSafe charges significantly slower than 7.5 W Qi chargers on iPhones older than the iPhone 12 series.[13] Devices without MagSafe need to be manually aligned as they do not have the built-in array of magnets that interlock with MagSafe.[14][15] Apple recommends a 20 W power adapter.[16] Users have reported MagSafe Chargers leaving circular imprints on leather cases.[17]

MagSafe Duo Charger[edit]

The MagSafe Duo Charger is a foldable charging mat with a MagSafe charger on one side and an Apple Watch charger on the other. 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.[18][19] The charger comes with a Lightning to USB-C cable, and Apple recommends their newer 30 W USB-C power adapter (released in 2018), and notes their older 29 W adapter is incompatible and can only charge one device at a time.[20]

Durability testing performed by Apple Insider found that the hinge could fail with frequent folding, noting it "started to break down at 180 folds and ultimately failed at 212."[21] The larger camera array on the iPhone 13 Pro elevates the top end from the charger with a case, though charging is unaffected.[22] The MagSafe Duo does not support fast charging on the Apple Watch Series 7.[23]

MagSafe Battery Pack[edit]

In July 2021, Apple released the MagSafe Battery Pack. It contains a 11.13Wh, 1,460mAh battery that can charge an iPhone at 5W. It charges either via Lightning, which can also charge a connected iPhone at 15 W, or by reverse charging when connected to a compatible iPhone charging via Lightning.[24][25][26] A firmware update in April 2022 increased the charging speed to 7.5W.[27]

Cases, wallets and sleeves[edit]

Apple released a line of MagSafe cases and other accessories, such as leather sleeves and wallets that can attach magnetically to iPhones and cases with MagSafe. Apple states MagSafe charging works through their cases. Apple states that their leather wallets are shielded to protect credit cards from the rare-earth magnets used in these accessories, although warns that credit cards should not be placed between an iPhone and a MagSafe charger.[28] In 2021, Apple released an updated MagSafe wallet with an NFC chip that supports Find My location tracking when the wallet is disconnected from an iPhone, but is not supported by Apple's clear cases for iPhone 12 models.[29]

Third party chargers and accessories[edit]

Apple refers to officially licensed third party MagSafe products as "Made for MagSafe". Apple worked with Belkin to design chargers using MagSafe, including a 2-in-1 charger, 3-in-1 charger and a car mount.[30][31] At launch, Belkin was the only accessory maker Apple had licensed the MagSafe charging standard to; while other third-party accessory makers advertise magnetic charging products as "MagSafe compatible," they use older Qi standards that deliver a maximum charging speed of 7.5 W, compared to MagSafe's 15 W, and lack integrated NFC.[32][33] In 2022, accessory maker Mophie worked with Apple to release a 3-in-1 Made for MagSafe travel charger; Nomad also released a charging base.[34][35] OtterBox manufactures officially licensed cases and a 2-in-1 charger.[36][37]

Devices supporting MagSafe[edit]

The following devices support MagSafe:

References[edit]

  1. ^ Apple Event — October 13 – via YouTube.
  2. ^ "Apple Events — October 2020". Apple. Retrieved 16 October 2020.
  3. ^ Bowe, Tucker (28 May 2020). "What Ever Happened to One of the MacBook's Best Features?". Gear Patrol. Retrieved 14 October 2020.
  4. ^ "MacBook Pro 14-inch and 16-inch - Technical Specifications". Apple (UK).
  5. ^ "Apple announces iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini: A new era for iPhone with 5G". Apple Newsroom. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  6. ^ "Accessory Design Guidelines for Apple Devices" (PDF). Apple Inc. p. 108. Retrieved 14 June 2022.
  7. ^ Kingsley-Hughes, Adrian. "Apple solves iPhone's wireless charging hit-n-miss with MagSafe". ZDNet. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  8. ^ "Accessory Design Guidelines for Apple Devices" (PDF). Apple Developer.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. ^ "AirPods Pro Now Available With MagSafe Charging Case for Same $249 Price". MacRumors. Retrieved 18 October 2021.
  10. ^ "New Qi2 Standard for Wireless Devices Ensures Enhanced Consumer Convenience and Efficiency". www.businesswire.com. 3 January 2023. Retrieved 3 January 2023.
  11. ^ "How to use your MagSafe Charger with iPhone 12 models and later". Apple Support. Retrieved 24 September 2021.
  12. ^ iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro Review: 5G, Cameras and New Design Tested | WSJ, retrieved 17 January 2023
  13. ^ "PSA: Non-iPhone 12 Models Charge Super Slowly With MagSafe Charger". MacRumors. Retrieved 3 October 2021.
  14. ^ Phelan, David. "Apple MagSafe For iPhone 12: Complete Review". Forbes. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  15. ^ Stein, Scott. "MagSafe on iPhone 12: I still want USB-C, but I was wrong about Apple's magnetic charger". CNET. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  16. ^ "How to use your MagSafe Charger with iPhone 12 models". Apple Support. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  17. ^ "MagSafe chargers may imprint leather cases, are compatible with 12W adapters". AppleInsider. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  18. ^ "Apple MagSafe Duo Charger Review: Useful, but expensive and underwhelming". TechCrunch. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  19. ^ Bohn, Dieter (9 November 2020). "The Apple MagSafe Duo charger is overpriced and under-delivers". The Verge. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  20. ^ Porter, Jon (11 December 2020). "Apple's old 29W chargers aren't good enough for MagSafe Duo". The Verge. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  21. ^ "MagSafe Duo review: almost everything you need, but has too many compromises". AppleInsider. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  22. ^ "iPhone 13 Pro not a perfect fit with MagSafe Duo, but charging is unaffected". AppleInsider. Retrieved 23 September 2021.
  23. ^ "Apple's $129 MagSafe Duo Charger Can't Fast Charge Apple Watch Series 7". MacRumors. Retrieved 15 October 2021.
  24. ^ "MagSafe Battery Pack". Apple. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  25. ^ "Apple's MagSafe Battery Pack has more capacity than it seems — here's why". AppleInsider. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  26. ^ "Apple's MagSafe Battery Pack: Everything You Need to Know". MacRumors. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  27. ^ "MagSafe Battery Pack Now Able to Charge at Faster 7.5W Speed After Firmware Update". MacRumors. Retrieved 22 April 2022.
  28. ^ "How to use your MagSafe Charger with iPhone 12 models". Apple Support. 2 November 2020. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  29. ^ Campbell, Ian Carlos (14 September 2021). "Apple's updated leather MagSafe wallet supports Find My location tracking". The Verge. Retrieved 28 January 2022.
  30. ^ "Belkin's MagSafe Boost Charge Pro review: worth the wait". AppleInsider. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  31. ^ Patel, Nilay (16 April 2021). "Six months later, there still isn't a MagSafe car charger". The Verge. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  32. ^ Karcz, Anthony. "MagSafe Cases And Accessories For The iPhone 12: Everything You Need To Know". Forbes. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  33. ^ Staff Writer. "Buyer beware: 'MagSafe compatible' is not the same as 'Made for MagSafe'". Macworld. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  34. ^ "Mophie Debuts $150 MagSafe-Compatible 3-in-1 Travel Charger". MacRumors. Retrieved 19 January 2022.
  35. ^ "Review: Nomad Launches 'Base One' Official MagSafe Charger for $130". MacRumors. Retrieved 2 March 2022.
  36. ^ Carnoy, David. "Best MagSafe and magnetic wireless chargers for Apple iPhone 12". CNET. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  37. ^ Potuck, Michael (26 July 2022). "OtterBox 2-in-1 MagSafe Charging Station for iPhone and Apple Watch has slick Pro Display XDR-style design". 9to5Mac. Retrieved 29 July 2022.

External links[edit]