Apple Releases MagSafe Battery Pack For iPhone 12

Apple has on Tuesday quietly announced its MagSafe battery pack that will snap on to the back of a iPhone 12 to provide it with extra power.

Costing $99 in the US (and £99 in the UK), the MagSafe battery pack is an accessory for people without easy access to power sources during the day to help them keep their iPhone 12 alive.

It is available for preorder from today, but will only start shipping on 23 July. It is only available in white at the moment.

MagSafe battery pack

The battery pack makes use of the MagSafe technology embedded in the iPhone 12 portfolio, which previously was successfully used for MacBook charging cords.

MagSafe uses magnets to allow for easy attachment of accessories and faster wireless charging by ‘snapping’ the two parts together.

So the MagSafe battery pack snaps onto the back of an iPhone 12, and according to CNBC will charge it with 5 watts of power – about the same as an older, square iPhone wall charger.

It should be noted that this is slower than the 15 watts a user will get from a regular MagSafe charger.

When it is attached to an iPhone, users can plug a cable into its Lightning port to charge both the battery and the device at faster speeds.

As it is an Apple accessory, it is closely integrated iOS.

This is not the first battery-extending unit that Apple has released, but previous versions needed to physically plug into the iPhone’s port to charge it and give additional battery life.

But this MagSafe battery pack utilises Apple’s MagSafe system, so the magnet attachment removes the need for physically connecting the iPhone to the battery extender.

Magnet warning

It has not exactly been plain sailing for Apple’s MagSafe technology since it arrived last year.

Last month Apple updated its support web page which warned people about the issue of magnets in mobile devices, and how they can impact implanted medical devices.

The iPad maker added a number of new Apple products to the warning list, including AirPods and its charging case, Apple Watch, Beats headphones, HomePod, iPads, as well as iPhones.

The issue stems from the fact that magnets and radios emit electromagnetic fields, both of which ‘may interfere’ with medical devices such as implanted pacemakers and defibrillators.

An example of this came when a researcher was able, in an experiment, to deactivate a single patient’s implanted defibrillator by holding an iPhone 12 directly over the device.

Apple in January this year then issued a notice on its support pages warning people about the issue of magnets in mobile phones and keeping them away from implanted magnetic devices.

It recommended at the time that iPhones were kept at least six inches away from a pacemaker or implanted defibrillator during normal use.

It also recommended that iPhones were kept a foot away if the device is actively using wireless charging.

Basically, people were told not to fall asleep with an iPhone on their chest if they have an implanted medical device.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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