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Could MacBook-like MagSafe be the answer to the portless iPhone?

Iphone 12 Lightning Port
Iphone 12 Lightning Port (Image credit: Rene Ritchie)

Today saw the news that Apple has a new patent relating to some sort of MagSafe connector for an iPhone. Proper MagSafe, that is. The one Apple's portables should still be using and not that poor imitation the iPhone 12 lineup has. And I'm absolutely here for it.

See, Apple has been rumored to have plans for a new portless iPhone for months now. And while I still don't see why, it's presumably something that's going to happen at some point. This new patent might answer how.

Magsafe Patent

Magsafe Patent (Image credit: USPTO)

The new patent is titled 'Magnetic surface contacts' and covers a range of applications relating to magnetic smart connectors, akin to its MagSafe charger for the MacBooks of old and the smart connector from the iPad's Smart Keyboard.

Apple's obsession with removing ports from an iPhone has a couple of problems. Slow charging speeds associated with wireless charging is one of the problems, as is the lack of a data connection for things like restoring and whatnot. Apple seems to be working on fixing the second issue, but what about the first?

This new patent shows a MagSafe-like connector attaching to the bottom of an iPhone. We know that traditional MagSafe can push enough power for 16-inch MacBook Pro notebooks, so an iPhone should be more than fine. And it would mean that tripping over an iPhone charging cable might no longer see said iPhone flung across the room.

Oh how I miss MagSafe on Apple's portables.

Apple is rumored to be looking at potentially ditching Lightning as soon as this year's iPhones. That seems unlikely, but when it does finally happen I'd rather USB-C replace it than anything else. If Apple has its heart set on removing as many holes as possible though, I suppose I can cope with MagSafe instead!

Oliver Haslam
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.

5 Comments
  • I'd rather this than that monstrous Qi hockey puck they call MagSafe now.
  • If they went this route they would at least be able to deal with the wired CarPlay dilemma they will have with millions of cars.
  • I have wired CarPlay and if Apple removes the iPhone port, it would make my CarPlay absolutely worthless. If this idea can make my wired CarPlay still work, then I'll be fine with it.
  • No worries, you can fix that with a $125 Wireless CarPlay dongle.
  • Some older Sony Xperia phones and tablets had this solution for some years ago. So I guess its a concept that can be working for phones to.
    So lets see if Apple go with it.