The latest generation of phones from Apple – the iPhone 12 series – is equipped with wireless charging, the company announced on Tuesday at a smartphone-centric product event.
The feature debut comes more than a year after Apple scrapped an earlier version of the long-delayed technology called AirPower. The company previously said that its predecessor's prototypes did not meet “high standards”.
The new technology called MagSafe uses magnets to attach iPhones to battery charging mats. The technology also provides a connection point for add-ons like specially compatible phone cases ($ 49 per pop) and associated accessories like a magnetic leather wallet ($ 59).
The charging mat offers 15 watts of power, costs 39 US dollars and is available online at the Apple Store.
Another version of the mat, the MagSafe Duo Charger, can charge an Apple Watch alongside an iPhone. Price and availability details for the sibling product have yet to be posted on the Apple website.
Apple expects third-party iPhone accessories designed for the new magnetic attachment feature. The company suggested during its live product demo that Belkin, the networked electronics maker best known for its routers, develop a wireless charging cradle for cars.
MagSafe is reviving a popular brand Apple originally used for magnetic chargers for its MacBook laptops. Apple pulled the plug for this feature in 2016 and opted for more standard ports on its later models – Thunderbolt 3 and USB Type-C.
Apple said it would no longer include headphones or power adapters in the box with newly purchased iPhones. The move, rated environmentally friendly by reducing plastic waste, could help increase sales if more people have to buy the parts separately.
The reality is:
Let's say Apple sells 40 million iPhones next year (like 2019).
Assuming the bill of materials for a USB-C adapter is $ 3 per unit, Apple would save ~ $ 120 million this year if this is not factored in. If 5% of new owners buy a new USB-C wall adapter, it could generate an additional $ 60 million.
– Steggy (Jeff Stegner) (@Steggy) October 13, 2020
In addition to wireless charging, the new iPhones from Apple – the iPhone 12, the iPhone 12 Mini, the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro Max – are equipped with 5G, a wireless technology that offers, among other things, much faster download speeds.
Apple also released a smaller smart speaker, the HomePod Mini, to compete with much bigger competitors like Amazon's Echo Dot and the Google Home Mini. The event took place a few weeks after another Apple product exhibition, where new Apple Watches and iPads were introduced.
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