Apple's MagSafe Battery Pack turns iPhone 12 mini into a viable, modular option

Iphone 12 Magsafe Battery Pack
Iphone 12 Magsafe Battery Pack (Image credit: Apple)

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.

Project Ara

Project Ara (Image credit: iMore)

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.

Don't yet have an iPhone 12 mini to call your own? We have some great iPhone deals you should probably check out!

Oliver Haslam

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.

  • I’ve been sporting the mini since launch day and have no issue with the battery … or the phone, its been great. Sure, some added juice is nice and I will check out the battery pack out when it launches. But why do this writer always say something negative just so he can promote something!
  • Look the iPhone 12 mini is not very good for battery life, period. Plus this magsafe battery pack has only a 1460 mha battery for $99 USD, or $120 CAD. You can get a much higher battery capacities for less than half the price of this thing.
  • If you prefer a bigger heavier phone and battery pack, good for you.
    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.
  • I have an iphone mini and I dont really have a battery issue. I think the real divide is people who use their phone as their primary personal computing device and those who don't. Most of my daily productivity is via a Windows based PC. My phone is used as a genuinely mobile device and the battery is fine for my use model. My issue is mostly the lack of imessage for Windows. However, that's a whole different thing. A magsave battery will help. Plugging my device into USB power on the bus works too. For me the battery is fine for my use.