Apple launches iPhone MagSafe battery pack that also charges AirPods

The new MagSafe Battery Pack is mainly for iPhone, but can charge all kinds of things wirelessly – even if they aren't Apple things

Apple iPhone MagSafe Battery Pack
(Image credit: Apple)

If you’re struggling to get through the day without recharging your iPhone, Apple’s new MagSafe Battery Pack could be the perfect solution – and you can use it to wirelessly charge other items such as AirPods Pro too. 

That’s because the pack delivers Qi Wireless Charging, and because Qi is a widely supported standard that means it can charge all kinds of things including rival firms’ wireless earbuds. There’s one notable omission, though: you can’t use it to charge your Apple Watch, because that needs a slightly different adapter.

The AirPods charging was demonstrated by Stephen Russell on Reddit, as reported by 9to5Mac: Russell picked up a MagSafe Battery Pack at the Apple Store in Memphis and shared early impressions and images with the iPhone 12 subreddit. 

Among the first impressions? “Magnet is STRONG.” Russell returned to the battery pack later that day, confirming that it could wirelessly charge AirPods too. That’s interesting because Apple’s PR talks about using the pack as a wireless charger when it’s plugged into a charger via a Lightning cable, but Russell’s one clearly works on the go too. That’s really useful.

You’ve got the power

The MagSafe Battery Pack delivers up to 15W of power, though this maximum speed is only for MagSafe devices – iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 Pro (and, presumably, iPhone 13 in the future). You can expect to charge your iPhone 12 from zero to fifty percent in about an hour from it.

Early reviews are cautiously positive: according to 9to5Mac, while “it’s thick, and it’s heavy” it “provides necessary utility. This is an Apple product that absolutely tackles form first and function second.” 9to5Mac also notes that you can have any colour as long as it’s white, and the white isn’t the same shade of white as Apple’s own MagSafe iPhone case, which is… annoying. AppleInsider’s only real criticism of the pack is that it charges via Lightning and not via Apple’s own MagSafe charger; the Battery Pack in effect replaces your MagSafe charger, in that sense. As you’d expect the Battery Pack is well supported in iOS 14, but it isn’t quite there in the iOS 15 betas yet.

Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack is available for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro and it currently costs £99/$99/AU$139. You’ll need a 20W or higher USB-C power adapter and a USB-C to Lightning cable to charge it; inevitably they’re sold separately, though your iPhone did at least come with the latter.

Carrie Marshall
Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com).