One of the highlight features of the iPhone 12 series is MagSafe, which uses magnets in the phone to align a wireless charging puck perfectly. Now it looks like MagSafe may have another useful feature.
An Apple filing with the FCC (FCCID.io backup) may hint at a reverse wireless charging feature hidden in the iPhone 12. The filing, discovered by VentureBeat's Jeremy Horwitz, says that the 2020 iPhones support wirelessly charging a future Apple accessory.
Here's the relevant bit from the FCC's filing:
"In addition to being able to be charged by a desktop WPT charger (puck), 2020 iPhone models (FCC IDs BCG-E3542A, BCG-E3543A, BCG-E3544A, BCG-E3545A, BCG-E3546A, BCG-E3547A) also support WPT charging function at 360 kHz to charge accessories. Currently the only accessory that can be charged by iPhones is an external potential apple accessory in future."
There's no word on exactly what this future Apple accessory might be, but Bloomberg's Mark Gurman speculates that it could be a new version of AirPods. Rumors say that Apple is working on new AirPods and AirPods Pro for launch in 2021, and it's possible that Apple could include MagSafe in the charging cases of both models.
With MagSafe, the new AirPods could attach to the back of the iPhone 12 magnetically and recharge using the iPhone's battery. MagSafe would also guarantee that you'd get perfect placement of the AirPods on the back of the iPhone every time rather than you being forced to move the AirPods around the iPhone's backside until you find the charging sweet spot.