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Apple just unveiled a unique accessory for the iPhone 12 series

Updated Oct 13th, 2020 2:43PM EDT
iPhone 12 Accessories
Image: Apple Inc.

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  • Apple announced the four iPhone 12 family of phones, including a brand new accessory invented for the iPhone 12 series.
  • Apple revived the MagSafe brand to serve the iPhone. MagSafe Charger and MagSafe Duo Charger are the two magnetic wireless chargers that Apple crafted for the iPhone.
  • The wireless chargers will support speeds of up to 15W and keep the iPhone 12 phones in place for optimum charging with magnets’ help.

Apple just unveiled four new iPhones, part of the iPhone 12 series, during its virtual press conference. Unsurprisingly, the phones share the same overall glass-sandwich design completed with a Face ID cutout at the front. The iPhone 12 phones are the first iPhones in years to get a major redesign. The screen might be the same on all phones, Face ID notch included, but they all have a new metal chassis, which delivers flat edges and curved corners. The design change reportedly allows Apple to take advantage of the internal space better, to accommodate the extra 5G components without compromising battery life. And the phone might fare better in accidental drops as well.

The addition of 5G doesn’t impact just battery life. It directly affects the price of the phone, and that’s probably why Apple removed the charger and wired earphones from the box. There’s one other reason for ditching wired charging and headphones. Apple is moving towards a wireless future, both when it comes to battery charging and data transmission. And the iPhone 12 series is the first to get a brand new type of accessory for that. Meet the new MagSafe Charger and the Duo version of it.

One of the best things about the MacBook laptops was the MagSafe charger. Apple dropped it when it moved to USB-C-only Macs, and many people miss the magnetic charger that had a critical role. It prevented accidents that could end up in serious damage to the laptop.

Apple MagSafe
The iPhone 12 magnets will accommodate accessories like the new mini wallet. Image source: Apple Inc.

The MagSafe chargers that Apple developed for the iPhone have a different purpose. They’re meant to keep the chargers in place on the back of the iPhone. The iPhone 12 features tiny magnets on the back, placed circularly around the wireless charging coil. The magnets will hook up to the wireless charger, keeping it into place.

iPhone 12 MagSafe
iPhone 12’s magnets system will snap onto cases and the MagSafe charger. Image source: Apple Inc.

The charger will support speeds of up to 15W, which is an upgrade for the iPhone’s wireless charging speeds. It’s almost as fast as the 18W wired chargers that the new iPhones support.

iPhone 12 MagSafe
Diagram shows all the components inside the wireless charging coil on the back of the iPhone 12. Image source: Apple Inc.

Apple will not be the only supplier of magnetic wireless chargers for the iPhone 12 series, and we already saw such products leak in the hours preceding the event. But it’s MagSafe chargers will likely be the first choice for many people.

There’s still no telling when the AirPower will arrive, if ever. But the MagSafe Duo Charger should compensate for that, for the time being, as it will be able to charge both the iPhone and the Watch wirelessly. The MagSafe chargers will work with protective cases, and the iPhone 12 magnets will also support external accessories, like a brand new mini wallet.

iPhone 12 MagSafe
An animation shows that MagSafe accessories will work with iPhone 12 even if the phone sits in a protective case. Image source: Apple Inc.

The MagSafe Charger, Leather Wallet, and the iPhone 12 Silicone Case and Clear Case will be available on October 16th. The iPhone 12 Leather Case will be available on November 6th. The MagSafe Duo Charger and the Leather Sleeve will launch later this year.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.