Apple could be preparing to place MagSafe chargers within the body of a MacBook laptop in order to help iPhone and Apple Watch users replenish their mobile devices.
A patent filing unearthed by Patently Apple explains how a MacBook could be used for reverse charging of the company’s other devices, simply by resting them on the lid or the palm rest of a MacBook. The images within the filing also show the technology hiding within a trackpad.
Naturally, it would be difficult to utilise any of this tech while the MacBook was in use, but if it’s just sitting around, many users may welcome the opportunity to charge their devices using the MacBook.
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In the filming, Apple explains why this could be convenient. It reads: “Some electronic devices include one or more rechargeable batteries that may require external power to recharge. Often, these devices may be charged using a common or standardized electrical connector or cable. For example, some devices may be charged using a universal serial bus (“USB”) connector or cable. However, despite having standardized connectors and cable, each device may require a separate or dedicated power supply to charge. In some cases, having separate power supplies for each device may be burdensome to use, store, and/or transport.”
Of course, we’ve seen reverse charging via Samsung’s Power Share feature for recent Galaxy smartphones, while OnePlus could add it with the OnePlus 9 range early in 2021. However, bringing it to MacBooks would be a new take on the tech and require some serious engineering changes to come to fruition.
For starters, MacBook laptops are currently made of aluminium which would not support wireless charging. Also, Apple would be taking a pretty big risk in upsetting the ecosystem by including wireless charging devices given the AirPower debacle. Perhaps MagSafe is the answer?
One thing that could be in Apple’s favour is the presence of the M1 processor in brand new Macs. Apple now controls most of the architecture for its computers moving forward, which would theoretically make the integration of an additional charging solution somewhat easier.