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One of the best things about Apple’s MagSafe technology in the iPhone 12 is that it not only charges your iPhone at 15W speeds, but when done properly, it also makes a great way to hold your iPhone and keep it accessible. After all, the magnets used in the MagSafe ring are strong enough to keep even an iPhone 12 Pro Max securely propped up on a stand — as long as you’re using a MagSafe-compatible case, of course.
Naturally, Apple agrees, but now it looks like it’s actually doing something to show off MagSafe’s mounting capabilities in its retail stores.
As 9to5Mac has discovered, Apple has created a new display unit that magically suspends four iPhone 12 models side-by-side. The new design eliminates the cable clutter that’s traditionally plagued iPhone display tables, and makes it easier for customers to pick up an iPhone 12 and play with it.
If you’ve been to an Apple retail store recently, you’ve probably seen the polycarbonate risers that are presently used to show off the iPhone 12 lineup. While these are more stylish than the separate stands that Apple used previously, they still use Lightning docks to power the display units. The risers include the product information for each model, and combine the four Lightning docks into a single unit, but each one still has a separate wire protruding from the back.
The new design, which was spotted at the Apple Park Visitor Center, is substantially more elegant. Only a single wire comes out of the back of the riser, which presumably powers all four MagSafe docks. From the front, the attached iPhone 12 units all appear to float above the platform, which also contains far less visual clutter.
Instead of summarizing the iPhone features, it shows only the name and a series of dots to represent the available colour options. Text at the bottom tells customers they can simply pick up an iPhone and open Apple’s Explore app to “try new features, compare models, and see finance options.” This was added to Apple’s demo units in June, replacing the previous Pricing app.
While the new riser still includes security tethers for each iPhone, these now retract back into the base. The previous design left the security cables loosely spooled, resulting in tangles and a need for constant neatening by Apple Store staff.
The new risers don’t appear to have rolled out to other Apple Store locations quite yet, although it’s unlikely Apple has designed them exclusively for its Apple Park Visitor Center, so we imagine we’ll see them appearing more widely sooner rather than later — likely by the time the “iPhone 13” lineup starts appearing in stores.
After all, since they rely on MagSafe, the new risers are obviously only appropriate for showing off the iPhone 12 lineup at this point. Depending on Apple’s plans for next month, however, there’s a good chance that we’ll see one or both of the older non-MagSafe models — the iPhone XR and iPhone 11 — disappear entirely from Apple’s retail stores, with the iPhone 12 becoming the lower-end budget model. It also seems likely that MagSafe will come to the next iPhone SE, which is expected to arrive early next year.
Unfortunately, as much as these new units would be a dream for iPhone-toting families, they’re only for displaying the iPhone 12 lineup in Apple Stores, and not for purchase by customers. We’re hoping the design might inspire some third-party accessory makers to pick up the ball and run with it, however.