Apple is working on a magnetic battery pack for the latest iPhones. This accessory will charge the phone wirelessly and provide the company with another potentially lucrative add-on product. Apple has been developing this app for at least a year, and according to people familiar with the product, it was slated to launch a few months after the release of the iPhone 12 line. iPhone 12 models were introduced in October.
The battery pack will be attached to the back of the iPhone 12 using the MagSafe system, which all new phones use to charge and pair other accessories such as cases and wallets. Some prototypes of the battery pack have a white rubber casing, said one person, who asked not to be named because the product has yet to be published. The new accessory will differ from Apple’s battery add-ons for previous iPhones. It only provides additional battery life and does not serve as a full-fledged protective case.
In internal testing, the magnetic mount system proved strong enough to keep the charging block in place. Accessory development has been slowed by software issues like the iPhone mistakenly showing that the battery is overheating. Apple is also working to fix issues with switching clients between using the device on the iPhone, sometimes with and without a case.
People said that given the development challenges of a new accessory, it could eventually be shelved or scrapped. An Apple spokesman declined to comment.
Apple’s Hardware Development Department is wary of charging accessories. In 2017, the company announced the AirPower mat, which will charge Apple Watch, iPhone, and AirPods at the same time. It was ultimately never released and was canceled during development in 2019 due to overheating issues.
Accessories and wearables have become a growing source of income for Apple, with cases, AirPods, Apple Watch, home speakers, and related products bringing in nearly $ 13 billion, or 12 percent of its total sales, in the last quarter.
Evidence of the magnetic battery accessory began to emerge. According to developer Steve Moser, the beta version of Apple’s upcoming iOS 14.5 software update included a vague, later deleted link to the battery pack.
The wireless charger could be a popular accessory for Apple’s new MagSafe ecosystem. Last year, Apple released MagSafe-enabled cases, leather wallets, and a pair of chargers.
If eventually released, the Apple accessory will compete with similar offerings from smaller manufacturers in recent months. The company also discussed other MagSafe accessories internally, including in-car installation, one of the people said, although the product has not yet entered formal development.
Apple has also internally discussed the goal of allowing many of its mobile devices, such as the Apple Watch, AirPods, and iPhones, to charge each other. Still, such functionality is unlikely shortly. For the 2019 iPhone, Apple had planned but canceled a feature that would allow users to charge AirPods on the phone’s back.
Apple MagSafe technology is expected to appear in several more products next year. According to Bloomberg News, the company plans to add it to the updated MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, which will appear this year. On a Mac, this feature means that if you accidentally unplug the power cord, it simply disconnects from the laptop, not the entire computer.