MagSafe Charger Prototype Reveals Abandoned 2010s Design
Images purporting to reveal the original version of Apple's MagSafe charger today surfaced online, providing a look at how the company conceived of the accessory over two and a half years before its release.
The images, shared by the Apple leaker and prototype collector known as "Kosutami," claim to show the original version of the MagSafe charger that Apple considered launching. The prototype has a production date of March 2017, a key period in the development of Apple's AirPower wireless charging mat. This version of MagSafe was apparently developed directly alongside AirPower.
The earlier version of MagSafe for iPhone features a rubberized outer shell that feels similar to the base of the HomePod, rounded edges, a different array of magnets with opposite magnetism, and a large Apple logo. It is apparently the same approximate size as the final version, but noticeably thinner. The design language distinctively harks back to an earlier period in Apple's history that more generously used white rubberized plastics and featured its logo more prominently.
Unreleased prototype of MagSafe Charger. It’s super rare yet interesting. Featured different design, magnetic placement, and materials used.
Produced around Mar. 2017, which same the AirPower does. Project started over after its cancellation.
Infos in last pic. #appleinternal pic.twitter.com/lxTQqhgk5s — Kosutami (@KosutamiSan) January 10, 2024
Following the cancelation of AirPower in March 2019, Apple apparently revisited this earlier MagSafe concept and rebooted the project. It ultimately launched with the design we know today alongside the iPhone 12 in October 2020, seeming to taking direct inspiration from the Apple Watch's charger with a thicker silver aluminum outer shell, flat sides, and no Apple logo.
Kosutami previously shared images of various Apple charger prototypes, including a functional AirPower charging mat, different color options tested for the MagSafe charger, and an unreleased "Magic Charger" accessory.