Today saw Apple announce the MagSafe Battery Pack for iPhone 12 and we were all very excited about it. We'd been told by Bloomberg a while ago that this was coming, and here it is. But it leaves a sour taste in the mouth, and it isn't just that $99 asking price.
As much as that $99 price does sting a little, anyone who follows Apple with any kind of regularity would surely know that anything south of $99 was never going to happen. I wouldn't have been surprised if it was more around the $119, point, so we should probably all be thankful for small mercies. What's irritating me — it isn't even annoying, really — is the fact that the $99 magnetic battery doesn't come with a cable in the box.
Sure, I didn't expect Apple to ship this thing with a USB-C charger because you don't even get that with a $1500 iPhone. I can sort of buy Apple's environmental argument on that one, but you do get a Lightning cable in the box at least. Apple's admitting you need one of those. But not if you buy a MagSafe Battery Pack, apparently. You'll have to buy one for yourself — and a USB-C charging brick if you need one of those, too.
Now, I know what some of you will say — most people will just use their iPhone's cable to charge their battery pack. And you might well be right. But an extra Lightning cable never goes amiss and at $99 — when the competition often costs half that — would it really hurt Apple's bottom line if it threw a cable in the box? It'd mean users could charge the battery pack and their iPhone at the same time. Now isn't that a novel idea!
At this point, it almost feels punitive when Apple does things like this. How much can a Lightning cable really cost Apple, especially at the volume it buys them. I don't really care how much markup Apple has on the MagSafe Battery Pack itself — we expect to pay a premium for Apple stuff these days. But come on, Apple. Give us a cable, yeah?
On the plus side, this battery pack does potentially fix the main problem people have with the iPhone 12 mini — its abysmal battery life. Want to bag one for yourself? Check out these iPhone deals before placing an order.