In brief: Supplemental power packs are a fairly lucrative accessory for iPhones. Apple is apparently working on a MagSafe-compatible solution that should release soon if engineers can iron out the kinks. The project has been stalled thanks to conflicts with iOS and other issues that have popped up in initial testing, and its future is uncertain.
When Apple unveiled the iPhone 12 last October, one of its key features was its MagSafe ring. The component provides a wireless charging solution while also allowing for magnetic clip-on accessories like wallets and cases. A variety of attachments are already for sale on Apple's website.
In addition to the standard MagSafe Charger and MagSafe Duo Charger, Cupertino is also reportedly working on a MagSafe Battery Pack. It is not to be mistaken for a battery case we are used to seeing. Instead, it would just be a completely wireless battery pack that snaps onto the iPhone's MagSafe ring for juice on the go.
Anonymous sources familiar with the project told Bloomberg that the product has been in development for about a year and was scheduled to launch just months after the iPhone 12. However, internal tests have revealed problems that have slowed progress.
One of the reported issues relates to iOS flagging the device as overheating even when operating at nominal temperatures. It also seems to have trouble working correctly with cases. However, that issue might be just as well since there have already been reports of MagSafe chargers leaving rings on plastic and leather iPhone cases.
The insiders indicated that the project has been delayed because of these hurdles and might ultimately get canned like the ill-fated Apple AirPower charging mat. The project's cancelation should not be too great a loss. Just as third-party manufactures stepped up with their versions of the AirPower charger, several vendors are already providing MagSafe-compatible battery pack solutions.
Image credit: Framesira