Apple Inc. is working on a magnetically attached battery pack for the newest iPhones. It is an accessory that can wirelessly charge the handset. Moreover, it will provide the company with another potentially lucrative add-on product. The company is developing the attachment for at least a year. If reports are true, it was to launch along with iPhone 12 series launch.
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The battery pack will attach to the back of an iPhone 12 using the MagSafe system. The part which all the new phones use for charging and pairing other accessories like cases and wallets. Moreover, some prototypes of the battery pack have a white rubber exterior. This is according to one of the people, who do not want their name out because the product isn’t yet public. The new accessory would differ from Apple battery add-ons for previous iPhones in that it only provides additional battery life and doesn’t serve as a fully protective case.
In internal testing, the magnetic attachment system has proved strong enough for the charging unit to stay in place. However, the accessory’s development has been slowed by software issues such as the iPhone erroneously indicating that the pack is overheating. Apple is also working to mend issues related to customer switching. Especially between using the device on an iPhone sometimes with and without a case.
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Apple has also internally discussed a goal of letting many of its mobile devices like Apple Watches, AirPods, and iPhones charge each other, but that functionality is unlikely in the near future. For the 2019 iPhones, Apple planned, but cancelled, a feature that would let users charge AirPods on the back of the phone.
Given the new accessory’s development challenges, it can ultimately be delayed or scrapped, the people said. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.
Apple Magnetic Battery Pack in Works?
Apple’s hardware engineering department is careful about launching accessories related to charging. In 2017, the company announced an AirPower mat that could charge an Apple Watch, iPhone, and AirPods earphones at the same time. It was never released and canceled deep into its development in 2019 due to issues related to overheating.
Accessories and wearables have become an increasing source of revenue for Apple. Especially with cases, AirPods, Apple Watches, home speakers, and related products generating almost $13 billion. In specifics, 12% of total company sales, last quarter.
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Evidence of a magnetic battery accessory has begun to appear. A beta version of Apple’s upcoming iOS 14.5 software update included a vague, later-removed reference to a battery pack, according to a finding by developer Steve Moser.
The wireless charging device could be a popular accessory for Apple’s new MagSafe ecosystem. Last year, Apple released cases with MagSafe compatibility, leather wallets and a pair of chargers.
The Apple accessory, if ultimately launched, would rival similar offerings released by small makers in recent months. The company has also discussed other MagSafe accessories internally. It is also includes the potential for an in-car attachment, though that product hasn’t made its way into formal development.
Apple’s MagSafe technology is expected to make its way to several more products over the next year. The company plans to add it to redesigned MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs coming this year, Bloomberg News has reported. On the Mac, the feature means any accidental yanking of the power cable would simply detach it from the laptop rather than pull down the entire computer.
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