Surprise late night rumors last night provided us with our first in-depth look at what we can expect from the new MacBook Pro models that are coming in 2021, and there are some significant changes in the works.
Along with additional ports, a new flat-edged design, and the removal of the Touch Bar, Apple’s updated MacBook Pro machines will readopt MagSafe.
MagSafe in the 2021 MacBook Pro Models
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes Apple will go back to a â€ŒMagSafeâ€Œ charging connector, and Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman in a separate report agreed and clarified that the â€ŒMagSafeâ€Œ port will be a standalone charging port used instead of USB-C, with the new port located next to the USB-C ports.
The design of the new â€ŒMagSafeâ€Œ connector will be similar to the design of the previous â€ŒMagSafeâ€Œ connector used on Macs, and it will allow for faster charging speeds than are possible with USB-C.
MagSafe 1 – 2006
â€ŒMagSafeâ€Œ first debuted in January of 2006 when Apple launched the first-ever MacBook Pro, which was also the first Mac laptop with an Intel chip inside. There have been a total of two versions of â€ŒMagSafeâ€Œ, and the 2006 MacBook Pro used the original â€ŒMagSafeâ€Œ connector.
The first â€ŒMagSafeâ€Œ port featured a square-shape design with five holes, which attached to an accompanying connector using a magnetic connection. The idea was that if the connector was tugged, it would detach quickly and smoothly without causing damage to the â€ŒMagSafeâ€Œ port or pulling the MacBook Pro off of a table or desk.
As with USB-C, â€ŒMagSafeâ€Œ had a design that allowed the connector to be attached to a Mac in either orientation, and charging was even simpler than with USB-C because there was no need to enter a cable into a port – you just lined up the connector and it adhered right in place magnetically. Apple developed 45W, 60W, and 85W â€ŒMagSafeâ€Œ connectors for various machines.
Initially, Apple used a T-shaped design that directed the cable straight out from a machine, but the original â€ŒMagSafeâ€Œ was transitioned to an L-shaped design that positioned the cable on the side of a computer. The T-shaped design was used from 2006 to 2009, while the L-shaped design was used from 2010 through 2012.
MagSafe 2 – 2012
Apple in 2012 introduced a new version of â€ŒMagSafeâ€Œ called â€ŒMagSafeâ€Œ 2, featuring a thinner and wider port and a new connector design that was suited to the thinner Macs that Apple unveiled that year. â€ŒMagSafeâ€Œ 2 connectors were not compatible with original â€ŒMagSafeâ€Œ ports, requiring an adapter.
Apple went back to its T-shaped design for â€ŒMagSafeâ€Œ 2 and stuck with it for the life of â€ŒMagSafeâ€Œ, and this is likely the same design and cable orientation that we’ll see in the 2021 MacBook Pro models.
In 2016, with the introduction of the USB-C MacBook Pro models, Apple began discontinuing â€ŒMagSafeâ€Œ. MacBook Pro models released between 2016 and 2020 do not use â€ŒMagSafeâ€Œ technology and instead charge through one of the machine’s USB-C ports. â€ŒMagSafeâ€Œ was fully phased out of the Mac lineup, and the last machine with â€ŒMagSafeâ€Œ, the 2017 MacBook Air, was discontinued by Apple in July 2019.
Apple started bringing back â€ŒMagSafeâ€Œ in 2020 with the launch of the iPhone 12 lineup. The â€ŒiPhone 12â€Œ models feature a built-in ring of magnets to support a magnetic wireless charger option which Apple has named â€ŒMagSafeâ€Œ, and soon, â€ŒMagSafeâ€Œ charging could be revived across Apple’s product lineup.
Based on the rumors we’ve heard so far, it sounds like the upcoming â€ŒMagSafeâ€Œ connector in the 2021 MacBook Pro models will look similar to the â€ŒMagSafeâ€Œ 2 connector that has since been discontinued. It is unlikely to be identical, however, as it is said to charge new MacBook Pro models more quickly than USB-C.
Past â€ŒMagSafeâ€Œ cords were prone to breakage and fraying around the charging connector, so Apple may have a new design in mind for the 2021 MacBook Pro models to alleviate the problem.
In the past, Apple has not licensed its â€ŒMagSafeâ€Œ technology, but that could change for the 2021 MacBook Pro models. Apple is allowing third-party companies to develop MagSafe-based charging options for the iPhone, so this time around, we could potentially see third-party â€ŒMagSafeâ€Œ charging solutions for the Mac, but that’s not guaranteed.
With Apple planning to debut a new â€ŒMagSafeâ€Œ connector option, it’s a sign that the hardware needed to charge a Mac will continue to be shipped with Mac machines. With the 2020 iPhones, Apple stopped providing power adapters for charging purposes, but it doesn’t seem like that’s a move that will expand to the Mac lineup.
The switch back to â€ŒMagSafeâ€Œ is likely to be popular with MacBook Pro owners who have been missing the feature since Apple transitioned to USB-C. In fact, the new MacBook Pro models appear to be removing all of the features that Mac owners have complained about, including the Touch Bar that has never caught on the way that Apple hoped it would, and the limited number of ports on USB-C machines.
The post MagSafe is Coming Back to the Mac: A Look Back at Apple’s Original Magnetic Charging Technology appeared first on TechFans.