That Peter McKinnon MagSafe wallet video proves what's wrong with the tech world

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

What you need to know

  • Apple's Leather Wallet with MagSafe has taken some heat, but YouTube influencer Peter McKinnon has a completely different take on things. And it highlights a larger problem in the world of tech reviewers.

Apple announced the Leather Wallet with MagSafe alongside the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro lineups last month and it's been getting heat ever since. Things got worse when reviewers were seeded with the thing and the videos started to appear on YouTube. And then things got a bit silly.

We've all seen the videos. People taking their iPhone 12 with the leather case stuck to the back and then making it fall off when they put it into their pocket. The takeaway? Using the Leather Wallet with MagSafe would drive you insane because it would forever be falling off your iPhone every time it goes near a pocket. Seems fair enough, really.

When I saw those videos I hadn't touched one of these wallets. I probably hadn't touched an iPhone 12, either. 2020 being the hellscape that it is, and the three-month election has everything running into one very long day for us all. And I still haven't used one of these wallets. But I have seen McKinnon's video and heard from plenty of people who seem to like it.

Here's that video, in case you haven't seen it yourself. You're going to need to watch it before you read on.

McKinnon really seems to like this thing. But if you pay attention to what he's saying and showing, I think he's stumbled upon a problem. Not a problem with the wallet, but a problem with the way things work in the tech world.

See, on the subject of the wallet falling off whenever it gets within a three-mile radius of your pocket, McKinnon has other thoughts. The wallet, he says, attaches perfectly fine and can't be shaken off when it's attached properly. Going further, he showed what happened when he put his iPhone – 12 Pro Max, a gargantuan slab of glass – and wallet into the pocket of his skinny jeans. Spoiler: it was fine.

But how can that be? We've seen YouTube videos, Instagram posts, and Twitter comments waxing poetic about just how woeful the leather wallet is. So what gives. Does McKinnon have a special wallet? Special magnetic jeans?

No. He just puts the thing into his pocket like someone who isn't trying to make the wallet fall off every time.

Everyone else? Perhaps not so much.

I've put "perhaps" in italics because I think someone, somewhere, probably had their wallet fall off when they tested it. It probably does it a lot for some people. There are always edge cases and people who have problems with things, whatever they might be.

But then everyone piled on. They saw the views grow, the links come in. The result? Everyone putting their phone and attached wallet into their pockets just so. Holding the phone, not the wallet. Making sure it catches on their pocket on the way in. Just so.

Then the social media furor did what furors do. And everyone else did the same videos and posts because the FUD – fear, uncertainty, and doubt – was working for others.

A week later, and people are calling the wallet trash. A waste of time. An accessory without a role to play in the lives of anyone. McKinnon would argue otherwise and did so for almost nine minutes. And you know what, he has a point.

  • No, the wallet doesn't fall off every time you look at it funny – I've heard this from other people, not just in this video. Again, I'm not saying nobody has this problem, but it's a bit premature to write this thing off. More importantly, writing it off because it's good for views is worse.
  • Yes, having space for just a couple of cards is fine for some people. It isn't fine for you? Cool. Get something else.

Wrapping up, I think it's important to remember that sometimes, just sometimes, mountains are made out of molehills in the name of views and clicks. And on the subject of the wallet falling off your iPhone when you put into a pocket, I'll defer to McKinnon here – "practice!"

Oliver Haslam
Contributor

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
  • The kid from iDownloadblog made a similar video and also seems to quite like the wallet. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucgmgnHSVio
  • Nobody should buy a wallet that attaches with a magnet for their phone, period. It's just not a good idea in general.
  • You really aren’t understanding the point of most of the criticisms being directed towards the wallet case. If something is holding my ID and my credit card, I’d like the chances of that thing failing to be at or near zero. The mere chance of the wallet case falling off makes it a dumb product. If the pocket you kept your wallet in had a slight hole in it, and there was a slight chance your wallet could fall through, would you still use that pocket? Of course not! And no, no one should have to “practice” using something like this. There shouldn’t be a special method or trick to using something that stores essential items like this. It should just work, no matter which way you’re holding it. So just knock it off, this isn’t an indictment of the tech world. It’s people calling out a product that probably shouldn’t have seen the light of day.
  • I agree. Those who have practiced magic (like Peter McKinnon) or even bought some magic items from Las Vegas to perform for friends know about gimmicks that require a change in how you carry your everyday items. You have to adjust how to do things to make it work and pull off the performance. The Magsafe wallet is an attachment that will require usage in a certain manner that CAN help with efficiency so long as your lifestyle meets the setup or you're willing to adjust how you do things. The question is: "If you're buying the wallet, are you going to find solutions to make it work for your lifestyle and adapt accordingly? Or are you going to attempt forcing it to fit your own way of doing things... like forcing a hammer to screw in a screw?". If you're not going to change as needed to make it work, then these aren't the wallets you're looking for. Move along.
  • The same principle applies in all the videos decrying the fact that Apple does not have high-refresh-rate screens on the new iPhones while most Android phones do nowadays. YouTubers demonstrate this feature by randomly flipping up and down on the screen through app lists, web pages, etc while waxing poetic about how wonderful it is. But, as McKinnon says in his videos, "Who does this?" I certainly do not wildly and randomly fling long lists up and down on my iPhone all the time, I slowly scroll up and down so I can see and read what is going by, which works perfectly fine on an iPhone. Android phones benefit from high-refresh-rate screens because Android OS has always suffered from glitchy, stuttery video, and thus benefits from massive amounts of RAM and high-refresh-rate screens, while iOS and iPhones have never had this problem. iOS is already buttery-smooth without having fast screens. The YouTube set are only concerned with maintaining the inflow of their millions from ads, clicks, and referrals, so I take what every one of them says with a HUGE grain of salt.