Apple makes changes to ‘Made for iPhone’ program, revives MagSafe third-party accessories


Today, reports indicate that Apple is providing an update to the MagSafe module that manufacturers use to make third-party MagSafe chargers. Hopefully the days of the fat white pucks for third-party MagSafe chargers are over.

According to sources, Apple is introducing changes to its MFi program that establish a new MagSafe charger module that allows third-party makers to style new chargers with MagSafe.

New changes at Apple mean more flexibility for third-party MagSafe accessories

AppleInsider has confirmed changes have been made to Apple’s MFi program, including an update to the MagSafe charging module. This means that third-party manufacturers can make MagSafe chargers with designs beyond the typical thick white puck.

To achieve “Made for iPhone”, or MFi, quality, third-party manufacturers must follow a strict set of standards and also use certain Apple-specific parts. As AppleInsider notes, a good example is the puck for charging an Apple Watch or a lightning connector.

In order for these products to be marketed with the “Made for iPhone” badge, they must pass various Apple tests for safety and performance. Those who pass the test not only get the “Made for iPhone” logo on the product, but also get a special ID. As AppleInsider stated “This ensures the charger is safe for your device, performs to Apple standards and is of the same quality as if you were buying directly from Apple”.

Looking forward

It’s important to note that any wireless charger with magnetic capabilities that doesn’t carry the ‘MFi’ logo is likely to be a Qi charger. Qi chargers can only deliver 7.5W of power, while MagSafe can deliver 15W of power.

Because of MFi standards, this is typically why third-party MagSafe accessories get “the puck treatment.” Now the report of AppleInsider indicates that the MFi MagSafe component allows covering the charging surface.

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The new Anker 3-in-1 not only offers plenty of charging options, but it does so in style. (Photo credit: Anchor.)

This will likely lead to new designs for MagSafe charging, much like what is already seen in Qi-style chargers. AppleInsider points to the new Anker 3-in-1 MagSafe cube as an example of what the tech can produce. Since this is the first accessory to have both 15W charging and a non-white surface, it is likely the first of many to no longer have the traditional white puck.

For those who like a little more style in their lives, but also like to keep accessories as official as possible, this should be great news. Third-party manufacturers that can create new MagSafe charging options in different styles are sure to spark new accessory creativity. Since Qi style chargers have seen some rather interesting designs, it will be great to see what official MagSafe charging can bring in terms of style.

What do you think of Apple’s new MFi decision? What would you like to see in a third-party MagSafe charger? Let us know in the comments.