When you hear about new FCC filings, it’s a pretty good sign that a company is about to drop new products. Well, Apple just filed one for a new magnetic charger, hinting that we’ll likely see a new MagSafe charger along with the new iPhone 13 lineup.
The filing, which was spotted by 9to5 Mac and MacRumors, doesn’t reveal too much about this MagSafe charger. It’s unclear what might be different about this one, compared to the one that Apple released last year with the iPhone 12 lineup. However, diagrams in the filing indicate that it’s likely meant for phones and potentially even AirPods. It also says that Apple tested the new MagSafe charger with eight phones—four of which have model IDs that directly correspond with the iPhone 12 models and are referred to as “legacy phones” within the document. The other four phones are referred to as “new phone” devices and are a possible reference to the iPhone 13.
There’s been a ton of iPhone 13 rumors in the past year. This has been especially true in the last few weeks as we ramp up toward Apple’s annual iPhone launch event. One rumor is that the iPhone 13 will have stronger MagSafe magnets, as some have criticized the magnets in the iPhone 12 lineup as “weak.” And while rumors should always be taken with a grain of salt, an FCC filing for a new magnetic charger does make it seem like Apple’s done something on this front. Whether that’s just tweaking the magnets in the charger itself, or an indication that the iPhones themselves will have stronger magnets is unclear.
MagSafe made a surprise comeback with the iPhone 12, and since then, it seems like the technology might be returning to its MacBooks as well. Not only did the new 24-inch iMacs that were revealed this spring feature a magnetic power plug, but Bloomberg also reported earlier this year that MagSafe would return to a new MacBook Air and the redesigned MacBook Pros.
That said, MagSafe’s return to iPhones hasn’t been without concern. Earlier in January, researchers found that the new magnetic array in the iPhone 12 lineup could potentially deactivate implanted medical devices. The results were corroborated by the American Heart Association in June. Both studies are only preliminary, however, and Apple issued guidance earlier this year that customers with implanted medical devices should keep the iPhone 12 and MagSafe accessories at a safe distance.
Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 13—and possibly a few other gadgets—on Sept. 14, though, these things can be unpredictable. It’s also thought that Apple will once again hold multiple events this fall thanks to the global chip shortage. But as for the iPhone 13 lineup itself? It looks like we’re in for the same four models as the iPhone 12, and it’s largely thought this will be the last hurrah for the iPhone Mini. On top of a new magnetic array, the iPhone 13 is also expected to cost more, double down on camera features, as well as feature a smaller notch and bigger batteries.