The iPhone 12 could get a magnetic battery pack – if Apple can overcome software setbacks
- Apple is working on a magnetic battery pack for the iPhone 12, Bloomberg reports.
- The product relies on Apple's MagSafe technology, which is built into the new iPhones.
- But Apple is reportedly running into software roadblocks, and the product could be scrapped.
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Apple is working on a magnetic battery pack that attaches to the iPhone 12, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reported on Friday.
The battery pack, which was planned for release in the months following the iPhone 12 launch last October, will rely on Apple's MagSafe system to stick to the back of the latest iPhones, according to Bloomberg. MagSafe accessories work by adhering to the back of the iPhone 12 models via a magnetic coil implanted in the back of the phone. Apple currently offers an array of MagSafe products, including magnetic wallets and cases.
Apple already sells battery packs built into iPhone cases, but the new device would be a standalone wireless charger.
But Apple is reportedly running into roadblocks with the battery packs, particularly when it comes to software: The iPhone will mistakenly show that it's overheating when the battery pack is attached. There are also issues when the user switches between using the battery pack with and without a case on their iPhone.
These issues could result in the device being scrapped altogether, Bloomberg reports.
A spokesperson for Apple did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
The company has experimented with wireless charging products over the past few years, including the MagSafe charging pad it unveiled last fall, as well as the MagSafe Duo, which charges both an iPhone and Apple Watch at the same time.
But the company has also had a rare public flop when it comes to wireless charging: In 2017, Apple announced AirPower, a wireless charging mat that could charge up multiple devices at once. But the product never came to fruition, and two years later, Apple announced it was canceling AirPower altogether.
The MagSafe system has also led to a few issues since the products were launched last fall. Apple has warned that the charging pad can damage Apple's leather iPhone cases, and that the magnets in the iPhone 12 and the MagSafe accessories can interfere with implanted medical devices like pacemakers.