Apple’s MagSafe Optical Module Hints at Portless iPhone

Apple might be working on a portless iPhone. The portless smartphone is always a dream for most enthusiasts. Many manufacturers already tried making a portless phone. Meizu showed their prototype of a portless holeless phone but that ended up being a wrong decision. But there is some serious compromise when making a portless phone. Such as relying on slower wireless charging and wireless data transfer and so on. But Apple seems to managed its proper solution.

iPhone users can already charge their iPhones with wireless charging and MagSafe. Also, there is not in hurry for fast charging as Apple doesn’t believe in fast charging. So the only issue is with the data transfer through the USB-C port. But Apple has a clever solution for that too.

Apple thinks, what if we implement wireless a data transfer feature within the MagSafe? Wondering how will it work? Well, it looks like Apple might choose to use optical data transfer technology to overcome it.

Apple has patented a wireless optical data transfer technology that will be paired with the existing MagSafe. The details of the patent were published on Patently Apple back in March 2017.  According to the patent details, the MagSafe charging pad will have an optical module inside it and a transparent glass window (called Optical Window) on top of it. The optical window will help pass the light through it with the help of the refractivity of optics.

a figure shows how the optical module will work inside the MagSafe pad
Image Credit: Patently Apple

The same thing we see on a prototype image of MagSafe revealed by @KosutamiSan back on May 27. He shared some images of different color variants of MagSafe charging pads. But one of them was disassembled for an unknown reason and showed an unknown optical module inside it. However, the optical module somehow missed the attention of people. But @VadimYuryev on X noticed this thing and created a thread on it.

a screenshot the tweet of @KosutamiSan on X showing magsafe charging pads in different color which includes a blue one that has a optical module in it

Patently Apple also demonstrates how it will work with the iPhone. The solution is another Optical Window on the back of the iPhone inside the MagSafe position. iPhone will need another optical module to send data to the other device via this technology. The patent also says that Apple will use UV/IR lights to transfer data that is out of our visible wavelength of light.

a figure shows how the optical data transfer module will be on iPhones
Image Credit: Patently Apple

Now you can imagine how it will work. The user needs use connect the MagSafe pad on the back of the iPhone. The Optical Window will be aligned automatically thanks to the magnets of both ends. The iPhone now can transfer data optically through the transparent window.

For the ease of your understanding, this is not an innovation by Apple. Some keypad phones back in Nokia’s age used the same technique to transfer data from one phone to another. There was an infrared module on both devices. Users had to align them manually to transfer data from one device to another.

two Nokia phone on a surface transferring data between them via infrared technology
Image credit: moulesdulax via

But currently, the technology is more advanced. So we can expect a new age of optical data transfer on portable devices. Also transfering data using light will be much faster than any other currently available method. Just think of the optical fibers that are being used to transfer huge amounts of data with almost no delay time.

That’s not the first time a portless iPhone is rumored. Previously there was several claim on it. Unfortunately, there is no information on when and whether this will be implemented or not. We think Apple will take some more time to use it on their iPhones.

Patently Apple@KosutamiSan
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Muhammad Minhaz

Highly Interested in technology specially in Smartphone. Spend most of the time of his day exploring the ever-growing smartphone industry. Writer and Owner of AndroidStory.

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