With the 2016 MacBook Pro line, Apple ditched the beloved MagSafe connector, which disengaged with the slightest amount of pressure. The connector saved many Mac laptops from a disastrous plummet when someone accidentally snagged the power cable. However, a new patent filing (number 10,547,151) for a “magnetic adapter” hints that it could return.
In the patent filing, Apple says the power cables on laptops may create hazards. For example, a user may place a Mac laptop on a desk or table and connector and connect it to a power outlet via a cable.
Particularly where the desk or table is in a public or semi-public environment, such as a library or coffee shop, the power cord may become a tripping hazard. What’s more, the laptop may be pulled to the ground and damaged. Apple says that what’s needed are “components for connector systems such that when a connector insert is mated with a connector receptacle, damage to the connector receptacle and electronic device may be avoided in the event of an inadvertent force on the connector insert.”
Here’s the summary of the invention: “Connector adapters that may have a MagSafe connector receptacle and a Universal Serial Bus Type-C connector insert. This may allow MagSafe chargers to be used to charge devices having Universal Serial Bus Type-C connector receptacles. This also may provide the breakaway characteristic of a MagSafe connector system for a device that does not include a MagSafe connector receptacle. Other adapters may have other types of magnetic connector receptacles and connector inserts.”