Apple Patents a Magnetic Charging Port-news

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(Photo by Lukas Gehrer from Pixabay)

A few days ago it was suggested that Apple won’t be switching the iPhone from a Lightning to USB-C port. A new patent granted to Apple this week goes a long way towards explaining why.

As Patently Apple reports, the new patent is No. 10,938,147 and titled “Magnetic surface contacts.” It details a recessed port on a device and an associated connector that are attached together magnetically, meaning there’s no open port required in the casing. Importantly, the contact allows for the transfer of power, meaning it can act as a charging port.

(Photo: United States Patent and Trademark Office)

The diagrams included with the patent document clearly show what looks to be a smartphone device equipped with the port, which appears on the lower edge of the phone where you’d typically expect to find the Lightning port on an iPhone. This design looks to be an evolution of the Smart Connector found on the latest iPads, and it seems likely Apple would adopt this magnetic surface contact port as an alternative across its entire range of devices if it ever sees the light of day.

As well as allowing Apple to bypass USB-C, the proprietary port clears the way for Apple to continue operating its profitable Made for iPhone (MFi) program when the Lightning port is eventually dropped. And as it’s a sealed port, the waterproof rating of all iDevices using it can be improved. The recessed design coupled with the fact it’s magnetic means hooking up the cable should be very simple indeed.

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