Is Apple Magsafe the future of phone charging?

When Apple announced the iPhone12 range in September, the big focus was on 5G. However, at ChargeBox, we got excited about another feature now included in all the latest iPhones - MagSafe charging. 

Let me tell you why.

As a pioneer of out-of-home, public phone charging solutions, we’ve learned a great deal over the years about making our solutions easy to use, reliable, fast, safe and secure.  Our research has shown that less than 20% of people carry a charging cable at any particular time, and even less have their charger.  So, since day one, all our solutions have included manufacturer-approved cables so that anybody can get a charge.

However, the downside of using cables is the cables themselves. They evolve frequently. They can be fiddly to use. And, they have a finite life. They are just not designed for high volume public use, so one of our biggest challenges has been keeping cables working reliably.  We developed techniques to protect the cables, and our 3rd generation protection is a sophisticated moulding technique that we call X-Ten because it extends their life up to 10X. But still, tips break, cables eventually wear and having to provide three cable types - Apple Lightning, Micro-USB and USB-C - contributes to higher component costs. 

Wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t need cables at all?  We could deliver a more reliable charging experience and at a lower cost to our customers. And that would mean more places would be able to offer their customers this essential service.

We believe that MagSafe will allow us to do that and presents the possible future of phone charging.

Before MagSafe, wireless charging - which has been around for many years - was unreliable and often inefficient. Most phones charged at rates considerably below the speed it would when connected with a cable. While you can maybe forgive this experience at home overnight, putting this solution in public spaces results in a less than satisfactory customer experience. 

With MagSafe, the simple addition of magnets into the device and charger pad transforms wireless charging.  The magnets reliably align the device and charging pad every time and in any orientation, keeping the two connected throughout the charge even if using the phone, or if the phone is vibrating with a call.  

MagSafe converts an unreliable and inefficient wireless charging experience into an experience as dependable as a cable and while not quite as fast as the fastest charging, it’s pretty damn close.  In our tests, MagSafe adds 17% battery in just 10 minutes compared with less than 7% using a standard 5W cable charger (a common default charger for most phones).

The reliability and speed of MagSafe are why it will be game-changing for out-of-home, public charging solutions. One day you’ll be able to say “Remember needing a charging cable?”  We won’t need them anymore or their propensity to deteriorate and their high cost.

When will ChargeBox deliver its first charging solutions with MagSafe? 

We already have 😃.  A world first.  MTR Crossrail is our first customer providing fast charge via cables and an incredible MagSafe experience for compatible phones.

We’ve always used the best and the most compatible products to make our solutions the safest experience. For that reason, we’re taking the MagSafe product and embedding it into our solutions. Using Apple’s MagSafe adapter protected within our wireless pad design. It’s powered by our USB-C based FastCharge system which provides all the power that MagSafe needs to charge your phone fast. 

We are super-excited by the opportunity for public charging solutions using MagSafe. It opens up so many more opportunities to put them where people need them and at a cost that is affordable to even more partners. 

Go on, provide a free phone charging service for your customers, they’ll love you for it, and it’ll keep them returning again and again.

 image from apple