MagSafe: A Revived Future For Apple

iPhone with MagSafe Charger

The subtle click of magnets has always been pleasing to humans. I guess magnets have a better approval rating than Donald Trump these days. Apple thought to give magnets a chance yet again but this time the revival is pretty huge. This article will take you through the revival of MagSafe Chargers and the analysis of the upcoming charging tech. The rumours about iPhone 13/12s and MacBook Pro 2021 have been pretty interesting in a while. They pose the comeback of MagSafe Chargers as the only mode of charging. 

For all those who don’t know, MagSafe is Apple’s proprietary charging technology which uses magnets to connect the charger and device. You might have recently heard about it during the launch of the iPhone 12 Series where Apple used magnets to connect the wireless charger and the phone. Also used those magnets for add-on accessories. 

You might think MagSafe is a technology launched by Apple in 2020. Let me break that up for you, Apple started this charging tech in 2006 when they launched their first MacBook. So you might remember the MacBooks before Apple adopted USB-C Charging, those laptops had a charging tech which used magnets and some pins. There’s a picture for you to feel nostalgic. 

Apple 60W MagSafe Power Adapter (MacBook Pro with 13-inch Retina display)
Apple 60W MagSafe Power Adapter (MacBook Pro with 13-inch Retina display)

How the rumours about iPhone and MacBooks are becoming interesting that some seem great and some make things sceptical for us at the same time.

iPhone 13/12s
Renders showing Portless iPhone12s/13
Renders showing Portless iPhone12s/13

Apple’s archaic and old notch in iPhone might get a bit smaller this year, though we hear that rumour every year. Also, Apple is reportedly working on bringing back fingerprint scanner (TouchID) through either In-screen fingerprint sensor or putting the sensor on the power button like Samsung Galaxy Fold. 

In one of the models of this year’s iPhone, there will be no Lightning Port which leads to two possibilities. First, Apple will adopt USB-C charging (Well, we don’t live in a utopian society). Second, Apple will go portless and adopt MagSafe Charging tech.  Rumours say that MagSafe in new iPhones will be different from current MagSafe.

MacBook Pro 2021
Renders showing MagSafe Charging in MacBook Pro 2021
Renders showing MagSafe Charging in MacBook Pro 2021

Apple is removing TouchBar from one of the MacBook Pros and I think people saw that coming anyway. Main rumour states that Apple is going ditch USB-C Charging and adopt Magsafe Charging with a different charger than iPhones. We don’t know how they will implement it but some renders are speculating the same. 

Reasons behind Apple switching to MagSafe

1. Lightning Charging tech is inefficient

It’s been 8 years since Apple launched Lightning Charging tech. This technology is getting inefficient and slow now as there’s a limit to the charging speed this cable can intake. They have to get rid of the tech at this point. 

2. No USB-C Charging

Apple always preferred to use their own proprietary technology in all terms in their devices as they always want to gain control over the components they use. It took a lot for Apple to shift to USB-C Charging in MacBooks and iPads because they didn’t have any better alternative. They don’t want to go for USB-C for iPhones as they will lose out a lot of their control. This will hurt primarily their ‘Ego’ as governments all over the world wants them to shift to USB-C and Apple stood against it all the time.

3. The real game of royalty

Apple has a patent for lightning cable and every a third-party accessory maker sells a lightning cable then they have to pay a royalty to Apple. So it is always profitable for Apple to its proprietary charging tech as every accessory sold in the market will mint Apple some money. That is the primary reason that Apple didn’t move to USB-C to USB-C Charging till now even though their consumers, accessory makers, governments, environmentalists, and maybe everyone is asking for it.

4. Portless iPhones means more space for other components

Basically, this is going to be the reasoning Apple is going to tell its customers. It will make a little bit of sense, unlike the reasoning they gave when they removed the charging brick. Removing the port will lead to more space in the phone and this means they can add maybe extra battery or better speakers in the iPhone or some other component for MacBook.

Let’s discuss the Pro and Cons of this change. And then you can properly determine who would you feel after this change. 

Pros of MagSafe

1. Futuristic Products

I am not going to lie but the idea of having a portless phone seems futuristic to me. Any product will have more scope portraying it’s minimalism if there are fewer ports. Portless iPhone means the phone can be more water-resistant and also more durable. 

2. Cost Reduction for Apple and more revenue

Just like no one had USB-C to Lightning cable charging brick this year. Everyone had to buy a charger for their iPhone 12. After launching the MagSafe charger this way everyone will have to buy a new charger with their MacBook or iPhone. With using its proprietary components, Apple can save and make a lot of money. That’s a lot of money for Apple so I guess it’s a win-win for them.

3. Love for MagSafe

People loved MagSafe chargers in the past MacBooks. As it was safer and hassle-free until a point that it became simply slow and old. The early MacBook users love MagSafe chargers so they might like this nostalgic feeling.

4. Mainstreaming Wireless Charging
AirPower: a fiasco beyond imagination

Apple is the bold player and we all will always appreciate their boldness even though it sometimes hurt their consumers. Apple is the trendsetter as it delivers to a lot of people. Their removal for headphone jack led to many hardships but it also mainstreamed wireless audio devices industry. The same is going to happen with wireless chargers. After their first attempt at mainstreaming wireless charging by launching AirPower was a fiasco, this attempt could really work.

Cons of MagSafe

1. Environmental Disaster

This point is pretty big and intense that I will explain it multiple subpoints. Just like discontinuing charger brick in the box made things worse for the environment rather than improving it, this change will bring heavy environmental cost. 

Everything goes obsolete
Apple's lightning cable with Apple logo

When the EU asked Apple to shift to USB-C charging, Apple stated that there are millions of lightning cables which will go obsolete if they shift. There’s a major flaw in this argument as Apple will have to change from lightning cable to something someday and that day will make lightning cables obsolete so it’s to shift USB-C as it is a ‘Universal Cable’. Now that day is coming where they are shifting but to some other charger so they are adding lightning cable to the massive e-waste and also the new charging technique. First, they made normal charging brick obsolete, then they made us buy new charging bricks then they are making lightning obsolete and yet again adding a new type of charger to the repertoire of their e-waste series.

Talking about Macbook, USB-C chargers which can be used to charge all other devices like speakers, headphones, earphones, other laptops, phones, clearly everything. Now that is going to be charged with a different charger and MagSafe charger in MacBook and iPhones will be different so another cable to adding to e-waste series.

Trendsetting into a deadlock

Just like I mentioned before, Apple is a trendsetter and the boldest market player and it pleases to many consumers. Their Android counterparts and windows counterparts will eventually the same path as they will fear losing their customer base. This starts a major problem which leads to change in charging technology by other players that means USB-C cables might get obsolete and if that happens the world is going to be a tough place to live in. it seems very pessimistic of me but we have seen that other players have to copy each other if it involves huge customer segment. 

Charger out of the box

As we know the charger are out then it means people have to buy new chargers from Apple which means more unnecessary charger boxes and more unnecessary user guides and eventually more waste. It might look like nitpicking but to be honest it adds to e-waste rather than reducing it. 

2. Benefits not passed to consumers

I like Apple making emissions when I look at it from a business perspective but when I look from a customer’s perspective, the benefit from the emissions is never given to customers. Leaving benefits aside, consumers have shell out more money either willingly or unwillingly. This happened when they removed headphone jack or charger and this will happen again when they go portless. 

3. Universal inconvenience

Assuming I am deep inside Apple’s wall garden ecosystem. With Apple shifting to MagSafe for phones and laptops, there will be different charger my Apple Watch, Phone, laptop, tablet, headphone/earphones and any other device which I use and charges from USB-C. I will have to carry 4 types of cables and adaptors. I know it is the same case right now but that doesn’t stop it from being super inconvenient and it is getting worse in future. We want to live in a world where we use one cable for all things which will make things super convenient but just I mentioned above we don’t live in a utopian world.

This issue can be resolved if they make a same MagSafe Charger for all the devices which seems more probable to me.

4. Other concerns

There are more small concerns with MagSafe. They are really small but they are worth mentioning. 

  • Scratches: MagSafe charger on the phone can lead to unnecessary scratches on the phone.
  • Heart patients beware: With all those people who have Packmakers installed in their heart, MagSafe is not a good idea for them. There have been incidents with failure of heart pacemakers while they were using iPhone 12 series phones.

My views

I have mentioned all the pros and cons of the charging technology above. You can choose for yourself, I am sorry you don’t make choice here. You can either feel good or bad about the change. There’s no going back from here. I will still state what I feel about this tech. Please note that this article is written based on rumours which are usually right but it is not confirmed by Apple till now so we have to wait a few months to see the validity of these rumours.

I personally like the idea of portless phones as they are futuristic and we are finally here where we are capable of implementing this. I consider the advantages it poses but I also realise that the disadvantages are more concerning to me. Just because a type of tech is capable of implementing that doesn’t mean it should be done compulsorily. I know it will be a big hit considering the mad popularity of Apple but the costs make it sceptical about the same. I, therefore, stand in the middle here.

Please tell me in the comments section about your feelings about this change and will you be optimistic about it or will it be a hard pill for you to swallow.

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