The new MagSafe charger may mark up expensive first-party cases, and apparently that's just fine by Apple
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When Apple's representatives first used the word "MagSafe" at the recent iPhone 12 event, this may have raised hopes of a return to break-away charging cables in this new generation of mobile devices. However, the OEM proceeded to unveil a fresh interpretation of this term: an in-built coil for compatibility with a new 15W wireless charger, as well as other snap-on items.
This new system also requires specific cases with the same coil that allows the charger to deliver power through them. They will have a range of materials from silicone to leather, the second of which has yet to be released, but promises to be particularly expensive when it does: the former currently sells on Apple's website for no less than US$49 - even for the base 12 Mini model.
Unfortunately, it seems that this combination of leather and MagSafe may prove less than practical. A MacRumors user who has allegedly obtained one of these accessories already now claims that using the charger has resulted in a corresponding circular depression in the high-end material. Furthermore, this is apparently a known risk of using the case's new function, as per a new Apple support document.
This may highlight a major discrepancy with this new proprietary system. Furthermore, the prominent YouTuber MKBHD has pointed out a major issue with the iPhone-mounted wallet also based on it: it may well flake off on contact with a jeans pocket. These findings honestly beg the question of Apple's having made a major mis-step with its charging solution choices, especially given the reality of 2020.