Apple has applied for a patent to bring the MagSafe power cables to their iOS devices. The MagSafe cables were first introduced in the 2006 model line-up, and now appear with all of the company’s MacBook products. As Techradar reports, the charging solution could soon become available to their smartphones and iPad tablets. The main allure of the MagSafe system is that it uses magnets to prevent damage to devices. If the charging cable slotted into the MacBook is tugged quickly (for example, if someone tripped over the cable) then it will pop out, rather than dragging the device along with it, and potentially causing damage. This results in the cable removing quickly, with no damage theoretically having been caused.
Apple already own a patent for the MagSafe design, which they received on December 25th, 2007. The official information from patent number 7,311,526 is as follows:
An electrical plug and receptacle relying on magnetic force to maintain contact are disclosed. The plug and receptacle can be used as part of a power adapter for connecting an electronic device, such as a laptop computer, to a power supply. The plug includes electrical contacts, which are preferably biased toward corresponding contacts on the receptacle. The plug and receptacle each have a magnetic element. The magnetic element on one or both of the plug and receptacle can be a magnet, which is preferably a permanent rare earth magnet although electromagnets may also be used. The magnetic element on the plug or receptacle that does not include a magnet is composed of ferromagnetic material. When the plug and receptacle are brought into proximity, the magnetic attraction between the magnet and its complement, whether another magnet or a ferromagnetic material, maintains the contacts in an electrically conductive relationship.
Apple has now trademarked the concept with the United States Patent Office, in order to bring it to the iPad and iPhone line, if not others. Patently Apple reports on this, and also includes diagrams of the MagSafe design. While the release of the MagSafe iOS products may not come in time for the next iPhone, currently rumoured to release in September, it could arrive soon after.