Apple's MagSafe Battery Pack turns iPhone 12 mini into a viable, modular option
Yesterday we saw the arrival of Apple's new MagSafe Battery Pack for the iPhone 12 lineup. I've already shared my feelings on the lack of a Lightning cable in the box, but I've been thinking about the battery pack itself. And it dawned on me that this thing could be an absolute game-changer for iPhone 12 mini users.
As much as some people swear by iPhone 12 mini and its diminutive size, many other people complain that the small battery makes it almost unusable by anyone who doesn't spend their days sat beside a power point. Admittedly, most of us have been at home for the past year but that doesn't make the point any less important — small iPhones have small batteries, and it's a case of physics winning despite Apple's engineers often flitting between genius and madness. But what if you could extend that battery life easily, and without wires? You'd have a modular iPhone. You'd have an iPhone 12 mini with a MagSafe Battery Pack slapped on the back.
Apple isn't saying what kind of battery extension we should expect from the MagSafe Battery Pack and to my knowledge, nobody has shared any details of their testing even if they do have one of these things in-hand already. But I'm willing to bet that whatever the battery pack can offer, it'll be more than enough to get iPhone 12 mini owners over the hump and back to a charger before it's lights out. And that could be a game-changer for Apple's miniature iPhone. Not enough to stop it from being killed after the iPhone 13 mini arrives this September perhaps, but still.
The idea of a modular iPhone is new, but it isn't a new concept to those in the Android world. They've tried modular a few times — and failed — but it's an idea that's intriguing for all kinds of reasons. The idea of the naked robotic core is fascinating because it would allow a base, minimal device to be sold and then have users attach their own features and accessories as they see fit. The arrival of a fancy battery pack with magnets is a long way off being the introduction of an iPhone like the long-dead Project Ara, but still. If it makes people with small iPhones happy, it's a start.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.
Me, i would be happier with an MagSafe battery pack that can TOP UP my mini without adding too much bulk or weight. Each to their own.