With the arrival of the iPhone 12, Apple has repurposed the MagSafe branding for a new wireless charging system for its smartphones. There are already Apple-made MagSafe cases available, and it looks as though there are more on the way.
A new Apple patent spotted by Patently Apple shows a folio-style case with built-in MagSafe charging options. Magnets embedded inside the case would enable it to be charged wirelessly with a MagSafe adapter.
Interestingly there are also two designs with slots for you to slide your AirPods in and charge them from the same case. When it's time to leave the house you'll have both your smartphone and your wireless earbuds fully charged and ready to go.
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These sketches also show room for an embedded battery, giving you a case and a portable power pack in one. Apple has previously produced case and battery combos like this for the iPhone 11 and older models, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see a new one.
The patent documentation also includes a MagSafe-ready folio case design for the iPad, suggesting the charging tech will soon find its way to Apple's tablet line. Apple hasn't said anything about that just yet, but it's the logical next step.
As always with patents though, we should emphasize that plenty of patent ideas never show up in finished products. They're good indicators of the way a company is thinking, but they don't represent fully realized technology.
That said, it makes sense for Apple to be developing new MagSafe accessories along these lines, and considering Apple already has MagSafe cases on sale, this wouldn't be too much of a stretch. The integrated AirPods charging is the most notable new feature.
Preorders for the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Pro are open now (with shipping on October 23), but you'll have to wait until November 6 to put your name down for an iPhone 12 mini or an iPhone 12 Pro Max (shipping for those handsets is scheduled for November 13).
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Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.