Apple has been developing the attachment for at least a year and it has been scheduled to launch in the months following the release of the iPhone 12 line, according to people with knowledge of the product. The iPhone 12 models were introduced in October.
The battery pack would attach to the back of an iPhone 12 using the MagSafe system, which all the new phones use for charging and pairing other accessories like cases and wallets. Some prototypes of the battery pack have a white rubber exterior, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the product isn’t yet public. The new accessory would differ from Apple battery add-ons for previous iPhones in that it only provides additional battery life and doesn’t serve as a full protective case.
According to Gurman, Apple has tested to make sure the magnetic attachment system is strong enough for the charging unit to stay in place. However, the accessory’s development has reportedly been hindered by software issues, such as the attached iPhone indicating in error that the battery pack is overheating.
Apple also has been working to fix problems that arise when a user switches between using the device on an iPhone with a case and without one.
In light of these developmental hurdles, the battery pack could ultimately be delayed or scrapped, according to Gurman’s sources.