No Thanks on the MagSafe

by Colin Berkshire

My wife and I upgraded recently to iPhone 12 Pro Max phones. It was exciting since we were on iPhone 7+ and 6+ phones.

One of the big selling features was wireless charging. So we gave it a try and purchased Apple’s $39 MagSafe wireless charging puck.

Let me cut to the chase: It’s a silly, worthless, inconvenient gimmick.

Yesterday my wife ordered me to take them back to Apple and get our money back. It was not enough for her that I just lose the item in the drawer. She felt angry and offended by the waste of $39 for such a silly thing.

Our experience was:

  1. It took longer to attach the magnetic puck then did a simple wire.
  2. It took longer to charge.
  3. It left the phone feeling hot anytime it was connected.
  4. It fell off easily, especially when picking the phone up in the dark from a nightstand.
  5. It offered absolutely no rational benefit over a cable.

So I trudged to the local Apple store and requested a refund, holding the thing up by its tail and referring to it as a “Nièchǐ dòngwù” as I handed it to the Apple representative.

He asked me why I would return it, it was the latest and best technology, and there was actually a line of people who wanted to buy them…they were just out. I explained to him it was an expensive, inconvenient, slow thing that was larger and heavier than a cable to take with me when traveling. He demonstrated how easily it just clicked on. I demonstrated how you had to rotate it to precisely the correct orientation before it stuck. He demonstrated how well it stuck to his phone. I picked the phone up by the cable and he gave a horrified look, worried that his MagSafe phone would fall off and smash to the floor. I smiled, and stated: “I feel the same as you just did…every time I reach for the phone on my nightstand in the dark.

The return process is surprisingly full of hassles. He asked if I had the receipt and I explained that I bought it online, and he could just find it by looking up my account. Unfortunately, he stated, for returns they can’t do that. So I pulled out my iPhone and looked up the order and gave him the “W” number. Ten minutes later (he had to do a lot of something on his iPhone…perhaps Tim Cook himself has to approve all returns of the devices..he stated that a credit would be posted to my account. (Note: It’s been a while and no sign of any credit…why do credits show up so much slower than charges?)

I honestly can’t figure out why people are so enamored by wireless charging, especially the MagSafe puck.

I hear rumors that Apple is considering eliminating the Lightning Jack from iPhones. Do they actually think I will enjoy carrying a heavy puck in my suitcase so I can hold it and the phone ion may hand while on an airplane?

Apple has done a lot of good things, but the MagSafe puck rhymes with ____.