Apple is reportedly working on a magnetic battery pack that can be attached to the iPhone 12 and wirelessly charge it, according to a report from Mark Gurman of Bloomberg.
Slated to be released in the months following the iPhone 12 launch in October 2020, the battery pack will rely on Apple’s MagSafe system and will stick onto the back of the latest iPhone models. MagSafe accessories work by sticking to the back of the iPhone 12 units through a magnetic coil implanted inside the back of the phone. Currently, the tech giant offers a range of MagSafe products, including magnetic cases and wallets.
Apple of course already offers battery packs built into iPhone cases, but this new device is designed to be a standalone wireless charger.
However, Apple is reportedly experiencing some hurdles with the said battery packs, mainly when it comes to the software – the iPhone will erroneously say that it is overheating when the battery pack has been attached. Also, there are issues when the user switches between using the device on their iPhone with and without a case.
Bloomberg says that the above issues may result in the device being delayed or scrapped altogether.
It has been known that over the past few years, the tech company has experimented with wireless charging products, including the MagSafe Duo that charges both an iPhone and Apple Watch simultaneously, as well as the MagSafe charging pad they unveiled last autumn.
Despite its roaring success on most products we see in the market today, Apple has had a rare public flop when it comes to the subject of wireless charging. Back in 2017, Apple announced the AirPower, a wireless charging mat that can charge up multiple devices at the same time. However, the product never materialized and two years later, the company announced it had cancelled AirPower completely.
The MagSafe system has also encountered a few issues since the products were launched last autumn. Apple has warned that the magnets in the iPhone 12 and the MagSafe accessories may potentially interfere with implanted medical devices such as pacemakers, and that the charging pad can damage Apple’s leather iPhone cases.
Accessories and wearable devices have become one of the increasing sources of revenue for Apple. Apple Watches, AirPods, cases, home speakers and other related products generated nearly $13 billion or around 11% of the total company sales last quarter.