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3 things to know about Apple's new MagSafe charging for the new iPhones

By Ken Wong - on 18 Oct 2020, 10:31am

3 things to know about Apple's new MagSafe charging for the new iPhones

Note: This article was first published on 14 Oct 2020.

This is Apple's Duo MagSafe charger.

Apple’s launch of the iPhone 12 series early this morning saw them bringing back, Magsafe, a much loved and often missed bit of technology.

Once an integral feature of their MacBooks, Magsafe is now a new charging feature for their latest smartphones.


How it works

How the magnets are arranged in the new MagSafe.

A common complaint with Qi-based wireless chargers is aligning the phone on the charging mat to start charging. Poor alignment can result in inefficient charging or charging won't start all.

To get around this problem, MagSafe features an array of magnets around the wireless charging coil, optimised for alignment and efficiency, so that your iPhone is connected to the charger perfectly every time. This means that with MagSafe, your iPhone can align itself quickly for faster wireless charging the company says. MagSafe allows wireless charging up to 15W.


What does this mean for my Qi wireless chargers?

Owners of existing Qi-based chargers don’t have to fret as the new MagSafe can still accommodate Qi charging. But Qi wireless charging support only goes up to 7.5W on the iPhone 12 phones.

So, if we want to fully enjoy the experience offered by MagSafe, we’ll probably have to shell out for new chargers whether from Apple or their partners.

For details on the phones, check out our articles here:


Accessories from Apple and partners

But MagSafe is more than just charging. Apple has added a single-turn coil NFC antenna and a magnetometer to the MagSafe components, so the phone can recognise and react to accessories.

Some of the available accessories.                                                  

During the online event, they showcased a new leather wallet with MagSafe that used its magnets to fit on the back of a MagSafe enabled case that still allowed for MagSafe charging.

There are already a number of MagSafe enabled cases, accessories, and chargers listed on the Apple store. Charging solutions include the MagSafe Charger and MagSafe Duo Charger for use with both the iPhone 12 and Apple Watch. There are also new silicone, leather, and clear cases that easily snap onto the back of iPhone, and a leather wallet.

The MagSafe charger is already on the online Apple Store even if you can’t actually buy it yet. It looks a lot like the hockey puck charger of the Apple Watch. The Duo Charger will charge both the iPhone 12 and Apple Watch at the same time.

Belkin chargers will also be MagSafe enabled.

Apple has also opened the ecosystem to partners. During the online event, they showcased some charging solutions coming from Belkin.


Pricing and availability

While some items have already appeared on the Singapore Apple Store, nothing is currently available for ordering. 

The MagSafe Charger (S$59), Leather Wallet with MagSafe (S$89), and iPhone 12 Pro Silicone Case and Clear Case (S$75) will be available beginning Friday, October 16.

The iPhone 12 Pro Leather Case will be available beginning Friday, November 6.

Finally, the MagSafe Duo Charger and Leather Sleeve will be available at a later date.

For local pricing and availability of the iPhone 12, check out our news here.