Images of a prototype Apple MagSafe Battery Pack have today been shared online, revealing a look at the iPhone accessory from when it was in internal development.
The images, which come from Twitter account @ArchiveInternal, show a prototype version of Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack which differs from the final retail version of the Battery Pack in a number of ways. The prototype features a glossy white plastic shell, identifier information printed on the side, a different rear surface material with no embossed MagSafe alignment ring, and an LED on the rear instead of the bottom.
Despite not having an embossed MagSafe alignment ring, the prototype still has a faint circular outline that indicates the presence of MagSafe technology. It is possible that the prototype is simply missing the additional rubbery layer present on the final MagSafe Battery Pack.
A prototype MagSafe Battery Pack. This unit has a side engraving and seems to be missing the fabric that is usually found on the front of these devices. There also seems to be a status LED on the front, a placement that didn’t make it to production (on bottom). #AppleInternal pic.twitter.com/eiSQ7oNzAQ
— Internal Archive (@ArchiveInternal) January 5, 2022
The placement of the LED charging indicator on the back of the Battery Pack is curious since it would be obscured by the iPhone it is attached to, which may have led to the decision to move it to the right of the Lightning port on the bottom.
Apple has been known to put LED charging indicators in particular places in the past, such as on the first-generation AirPods, which featured a LED indicator inside the charging case, where it could not be seen when the case was closed. Apple changed this with the second iteration of the device, when it moved the LED to the front exterior of the AirPods charging case.
Apple was rumored to launch a magnetic external battery for some time before finally launching the MagSafe Battery Pack in July 2021. The company’s work on the accessory became apparent in mid-February 2021 after the launch of the second iOS 14.5 beta, where MacRumors discovered a mention of a mysterious “battery pack” in the code. Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman later confirmed that Apple was indeed working on a MagSafe Battery Pack designed for the iPhone 12, while other rumors alleged that the accessory would have reverse wireless charging.
The MagSafe Battery Pack was reportedly hindered by development problems and software issues prior to its release, and the accessory has had a mixed reaction from customers since its launch.
Images and videos of Apple prototype devices are frequently shared online by collectors, with recent findings including transparent AirPods, an Apple Watch Series 3 with additional connectors, and even a working AirPower prototype.