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The return of MagSafe – Apple’s first step towards a modular iPhone

Apple’s revamped MagSafe could be the new iPhone’s most overlooked feature. While the iPhone 12 comes in new shapes and sizes, packs super-fast 5G connectivity, and offers enhanced screens, cameras, and internals, MagSafe connectivity could instead pave the way for something Apple fans have long been calling for: a modular iPhone.


MagSafe made its name on Apple’s MacBook computer chargers, which connected magnetically in order to create a safer charging setup (if you caught the power lead, it would simply snap off – and not drag your MacBook to the ground). Then in the age of the all-in-one USB-C port, MagSafe appeared to die a quiet death … until now.

Meet MagSafe. Again.

On the iPhone 12, MagSafe will continue to honor its name through offering magnetically-safe charging for users. Like we said in our iPhone 12 first impressions, MagSafe will mean your iPhone is perfectly aligned with a wireless charger: the handset should simply “snap” into place using an array of magnets around a charging coil. However, MagSafe could offer iPhone owners a whole lot more.

A modular iPhone

MagSafe also paves the way for a modular iPhone – a device that you can augment through custom accessories which push the handset into new and more specific directions. This is because the snap-and-click of MagSafe means adding and holding different accessories in place – and swapping them out – will be easier than ever.

Just think about it: a whole host of accessories enhance our iPhone in different ways, from third-party camera lenses to cases which double as game-controllers. Imagine these devices re-engineered to snap onto the back of your iPhone using MagSafe. Then imagine what else this simple technology could bring: snap-on grips, a snap-on wireless speaker that turns your iPhone into a mini-boom-box, heck – even a snap-on wireless battery pack. Like anything, the possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

Just the beginning.

So while modular iPhone proponents have often called for expandable storage and upgradable RAM, MagSafe could deliver a whole new take on what a truly modular smartphone might look like. All we need now is for the accessory market to get creative.