Unreleased Apple Magic Charger appears in photos and is completely pointless

Apple Magic Charger on laptop
(Image credit: @TheBlueMister)

An unreleased Apple Magic Charger has appeared in photos online, with the product looking similar to the existing MagSafe Charger but attached to a slab of metal.

First posted to Twitter by @TheBlueMister, the charger is a Design Validation Test (DVT) part that seems unlikely to see the light of day. However, upon closer inspection, it's easy to see why that might be.

Grand designs

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The Apple Magic Charger is similar to the MagSafe Charger in many ways, but this one appears to be placed inside an anodized aluminum-rounded square. In addition, the MagSafe Charger can be titled into a vertical position, which would theoretically allow an iPhone to be charged while remaining usable, as is the case with countless other charging stands.

The problem is that there doesn't appear to be enough ground clearance for an iPhone to attach to the charger in the portrait position — even an iPhone 13 mini would struggle, let alone an iPhone 14 Pro Max — meaning it would have to be used in landscape orientation. That's less than ideal, with MacRumors reporting that @TheBlueMister believes this might be why Apple chose not to release the product to the masses.

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As for the rest of the charger, it appears to come with a non-detachable USB-C cable for charging purposes which would then need to be connected to a plug of the owner's choosing.

Whether Apple could modify the Magic Charger and release it later remains to be seen. It's also possible that there is another attachment that we don't see here. One that could have lifted the whole thing off the table more, allowing an iPhone to be charged in portrait orientation. But, so far, neither @TheBlueMister nor anyone else has suggested that to be the case.

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.