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Apple granted patent for Griffin BreakSafe-like adapter for a possible USB-C MagSafe future

One of the most common complaints about Apple’s recent MacBook Pro lineup has been the lack of MagSafe. Apple’s magnetic charging solution was a staple of MacBooks for many years, but the company did away with it with the switch to USB-C. Now, however, a patent hints that Apple is working on a way to integrate MagSafe with USB-C.


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First noted by Mashable, Apple has been granted a patent for a mechanism that would act as a MagSafe-to-USB-C adapter of sorts. If that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s eerily similar to the solution that Griffin’s BreakSafe accessory uses to bring MagSafe functionality to USB-C.

Obviously, however, being a first-party Apple accessory means that there would be a few benefits over Griffin’s solution. The patent depicts a real MagSafe plug as what would connect between the cable and the USB-C adapter plugged into the computer. As you can see in the figure above, the MagSafe design is akin to what’s been used on recent MacBook designs, but connects to the adapter rather than directly to the computer.

As usual, Apple’s patent is vague as to what sort of products the technology could be used with, despite the fact that the figures specifically show use with a MacBook.

“Embodiments of the present invention may provide adapters that may connect to connector receptacles on various types of devices, such as portable computing devices, tablet computers, desktop computers, laptops, all-in-one computers, wearable computing devices….”

The Griffin BreakSafe has been met with mixed reviews. I personally used it for a long time, but overtime the magnetic connection began to weaken and became detached too easily. Others, however, have had more luck. The company earlier this year expanded its BreakSafe line.

Nevertheless, a first-party solution from Apple would presumably be far more advanced than Griffin’s. It’s not a perfect solution, though, as it still involves a weird adapter plug. The ideal solution would be a some sort of magnetic USB-C connector cable.

What do you think of Apple’s patented USB-C/MagSafe hybrid? Is it something you would use? Let us know down in the comments and read our full review of Griffin’s BreakSafe here.

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