Apple MagSafe Is the USB-C Killer

We might never see a USB-C iPhone now that MagSafe is here.

Walid AO
Walid AO
Oct 24 · 5 min read
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MagSafe accessories — Source: Apple.com

Apple introduced the iPhone 12 on October 13th, 2020. For the first time ever, Apple announced four new models — a model for everyone.

As it is the case with every new smartphone release, the tech enthusiasts immediately published their reactions, thoughts, disappointments, and future predictions. It is a race for content, and may the best person win.

Apple announced a controversial topic in its latest event. There is no power adapter or wired headphones in the box of the new iPhone. People are split into two groups here: The first group does not care because they have multiple power adapters lying around in their homes, while the second group is furious; they see this move as a money grab stunt by the giant tech company.

Apple announced removing the power adapter and the wired headphone as a positive thing — it is for the environment. However, not everyone is buying this argument.

In fairness, this move will save enormously on electrical waste. Everyone nowadays has at least five USB power adapter lying around — remember that any USB or USB-C power outlet can be used if you have the right cable. Also, Apple will save in production, packaging, and logistics with the new iPhones. Reports indicated that Apple could ship 70% more iPhones in one go with the new package size.

The move shocked everybody because the new iPhones, including the Pro models, still have the lightning port instead of a USB-C port. Something that people have been anticipating for a long time now. Once again, they say it will be in the 2021 iPhone model; let us wait and see. I’m here to burst the bubble for you guys. In my opinion

We will never see a USB-C iPhone now that we have MegSafe.

The MFi licensing program

MFi is the abbreviation of Made for iPod, Made for iPhone, and Made for iPad. Apple MFi licensing program grants hardware and software developers a license that shows that Apple has authorized accessory manufacturers to mark the MFi logo on their products.

Any company that wishes to develop an accessory for Apple’s products using the lightning port has to pay a fee for Apple to be allowed to do so. The fee is a flat $4 per lightning connector. This adds up to a significant amount if we calculate the number of third party accessories for the Apple ecosystem.

Ditching the lightning port for a USB-C will cause a significant cut in Apple’s revenue. No company in the world will willingly decide to cut its revenue without a proper reason — $4 licensing fees for every connector is a great deal. However, there is a reason now for Apple to ditch the lightning port — and it is a European reason.

The new EU law for a common USB-C charger

In January 2020, the EU lawmakers voted for new rules to establish a common charger for all mobile devices. The idea is to ensure that EU consumers are no longer obliged to buy new chargers with each new device — Basically, the EU paved the way for Apple to get rid of the power adapter.

If you are criticizing Apple now, in a short period all manufacturer will be obligated to follow Apple’s move

Apple did criticize the EU plans for a common charger. But they failed to persuade the EU otherwise. Apple has to adapt.

For the consumers, a USB-C port is beneficial. It is modern and universal. However, for Apple, USB-C does not come without trouble.

If Apple switched to a USB-C port in its iPhones, it would not charge the $4 licensing fees from 3rd party accessories. Which will cause a significant revenue drop for the company.

Also, Apple needs every millimeter in the iPhones. The USB-C port is larger than the lightning port. This means that iPhones with USB-C will be thicker in size, and their internals needs to be redesigned and refitted.

MagSafe — the magical solution

Apple introduced a new feature with the iPhone 12. It is called MagSafe.

Apple introduces MagSafe as a family of accessories that can be magnetically connected to the iPhone’s backside. With a MagSafe charger, one can also wirelessly charge the iPhone up to 15W.

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MagSafe charger — Source: Apple.com

Apple showed the charger, the different cases, and the wallets. It also emphasized the idea that one can charge the iPhone through a Magsafe cover. The charger is pretty thin, and it can be included in future iPhone boxes, and it offers new possibilities to interact with the iPhone.

The iPhone also identifies what accessory is being attached to it, and it lights up the screen accordingly. I believe an NFC chip is located in every accessory.

Apple can now license MagSafe to third-party manufacturers to develop accessories for the new iPhone. The new accessories can be chargers, power banks, covers, wallets, and even data transfer utilities — the possibilities are endless. Apple also announced that Belkin started developing further MagSafe accessories — the licensing cash-cow is already here.

MagSafe opens the door for Apple to introduce a No Port iPhone.

Future MacBooks can include a Magsafe dock as well, which allows for wireless charging directly from the MacBook, and it can also be used for data transfer. Apple can build an entire ecosystem around MagSafe with third party suppliers. We have to wait and see where the company will take MagSafe to the future. However, in my opinion, Apple will never add a USB-C to its iPhones. Therefore, the next iPhone is a No Port iPhone.

Even if the EU asked for a universal charger, the iPhone could be wirelessly charged on any wireless charger. Thus, the company is still complying with the EU regulations.

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Walid Al Otaibi -WAO- is a top writer in Gaming. He works at an engineering company in Germany. He comes from a multicultural background and is located in Germany since 2003. He is writing about Arab Culture, Multiculturalism, Finance, and Trending topics.

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Walid AO

Written by

Walid AO

Engineer, writer, wild thinker, and life-loving. FOLLOW ⤵ www.linkedin.com/in/WAO1

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +731K people. Follow to join our community.

Walid AO

Written by

Walid AO

Engineer, writer, wild thinker, and life-loving. FOLLOW ⤵ www.linkedin.com/in/WAO1

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +731K people. Follow to join our community.

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