MagSafe being withheld from third parties?

MagSafe being withheld from third parties?

Summary: One of my favorite things about the MacBook Pro is the MagSafe power connector, but the more I use it the more I am finding that things might not be as rosy as I originally thought.

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TOPICS: Apple
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One of my favorite things about the MacBook Pro is the MagSafe power connector, but the more I use it the more I am finding that things might not be as rosy as I originally thought.

For starters the MagSafe connector comes out easily. I know that it's designed to do that, but I'm starting to think that it comes out a little too easily. Half of the time when I'm sitting on the couch with my MacBook Pro the MagSafe pops out and I don't notice until I get the low battery warning. I'm just wondering how long it will be before I don't notice that it has popped out and I leave it "charging" overnight only to find the battery dead when I open my MBP up on a flight.

The other thing that worries me about the MagSafe connector is the lack of third party options that are available for it. None of the traditional third party power connector manufacturers (Madsonline, Lind, SmartDisk) have options for the MacBook Pro. Sure, Apple didn't release the design of the connector to third parties any earlier than the rest of us saw it on 10 January 2006, but I get a sense that they aren't exactly offering a helping hand either.

Another curious thing about the MacBook Pro is the lack of developer documentation. Usually Apple releases a hardware developer note about 30 days after a product has been released, but there's no sign of a dev note for the MacBook Pro.

Is Apple taking their own sweet time in releasing the technical specs of the MacBook Pro in order to maximize sales of the new 85 watt MagSafe power adapters (US$79) and batteries (US$129)? Or is there a legitimate reason why they're taking so long? I don't have the answers for the delay but it's starting to make me suspicious. Even if they're intentionally dragging their feet to line their pockets, is there anything really wrong with that?

Topic: Apple

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16 comments
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  • Kensington a no-mag-go

    When informing when there will be a magsafe connector/tip for my
    Kensington AC/auto/air adapter they informed me that there
    probably will never be one! This maybe due to the fact that the
    adapter is only 65W but they had no info on alternatives.
    henri_smeets
    • Magsafe for Kensington AC/DC adapter

      We offer a magsafe connector for the Kensington AC/DC all-in-one
      adapter!

      http://mikegyver.com
      mikegyver
  • Maybe a weak MagSafe Adapter?

    First let me start off saying the I discovered your blog a few
    weeks ago and now I'm a big fan. Thank you or your insight and
    info. Much respect.

    I've been holding out for the 2.16 Ghz MacBook Pro and finally
    got the call from Apple to come pick one up. I love it's speed
    and can't wait to get my hands on the 'backordered' Final Cut
    Pro Studio due to ship by months end.

    The connection of my MagSafe Adapter is quite firm and it would
    have to be pulled with a firm tug to break the connection. If I
    were you, I would go the an apple store and test there display
    MacBook Pros to see if you might have a lemon.

    It would be a good idea for apple or some third party
    manufacturer (growl) to come out with a utility program that
    would make an audible sound warning you of a connection or
    disconnection of the MagSafe Adapter.

    Just a thought.
    raemix
    • Great shareware idea: audible MagSafe disconnect warning

      Anyone out there up for the task? (Also, thanks for the kudos Raemix!)

      - Jason
      Jason D. O'Grady
      • New App: ChargerChecker

        I just put the finishing touches on my new app called
        ChargerChecker. It uses Growl to give you on-screen notifications
        when your charger is connected or disconnected. More information
        is available <a href="b.mac.com/cbrantly/iWeb/Chad/Blog/
        407FD0A4-A514-4C4E-BC92-6A1C9960593A.html">here</a>.

        PS - Don't forget to install <a href="http://growl.info">Growl</a>
        first
        cbrantly@...
        • Wrong URL

          Oops...looks like my url got mangled. More info on
          ChargerChecker <a href="http://web.mac.com/cbrantly/iWeb/
          Chad/Blog/407FD0A4-A514-4C4E-
          BC92-6A1C9960593A.html">here.</a>
          cbrantly@...
  • This may start a fire itself...

    What about the MBP user who's MagSafe connector caught fire? "Rogier Mulder" was the person.

    I've tried to find more than the two references about it, but I'm getting dead pages.

    I've never heard of the fire since, and I've never noticed the MagSafe being particularly easy to dislodge. Time will tell if there are problems with it.
    TheProtector
    • More details

      It's really unclear what happened in this case (did his cats spill something on the laptop?).Some more details on this can be found here:

      [url=http://wiredblogs.tripod.com/cultofmac/index.blog?entry_id=1437672]Wired[/url]

      and here

      [url=http://www.gizmodo.com/gadgets/laptops/macbook-magnetic-magsafe-connector-not-so-safe-after-all-161229.php]Gizmodo[/url]
      tic swayback
      • I agree that more information is needed...

        It will take some time before we find out anything, but I appreciate public forums for bringing attention to possible issues.
        TheProtector
    • That second link

      Guess I didn't close my brackets right:

      [url=http://www.gizmodo.com/gadgets/laptops/macbook-magnetic-magsafe-connector-not-so-safe-after-all-161229.php]Gizmodo[/url]
      tic swayback
    • Odds..

      How long before Ou makes some moronic comment about this
      when it's not known yet what really happened.
      V-Train
      • More importantly

        The most important thing is to know if this is a singular case, or something widespread. So far, this is the only report of an issue like this with MagSafe, so I'd assume it's some kind of freak accident, or perhaps a unique manufacturing defect. Clearly if this were widespread we'd have heard of more than one.
        tic swayback
        • Also

          It's also important to know whether this was spontaneous, or
          whether there was something else that happened that caused it.
          V-Train
  • Magsafe fire problem - A solution?

    I woke up this morning with the answer to why the Magsafe fire
    would happen, and it's not good for Apple.

    Back when I was a kid, I would drag a magnet through the dirt,
    and it would come up with a "beard" of iron splinters. Try it
    yourself to see how much comes up in a couple of seconds.

    The magnets used in the Magsafe connectors are MUCH
    STRONGER. I assume that they use rare-earth materials, based
    on how small they are. If the owner allows the cable to drag on
    the ground (even indoors) while carrying the laptop from room
    to room, it's going to pick up tiny specks of iron. Our
    environment is full of it.

    Those connectors are very close together, and even a small
    amount of iron is going to caused arcing and sparking.

    The only answer to this is to regularly, manually check the
    connectors to see if they've started gathering anything, and to
    clean them if necessary.
    papa tony
  • US patents are ridiculous

    US patents are ridiculous
    I can't believe Apple recieved a patent for that. Magnetic power cords have been on Japanese hot water kettles since 1980. Look at any Zorushi or other imported hot water kettle and it has a magnetic break away power cord. The fact that apple can steal something that's been around for decades and get a patent for it shows just how ridiculous the US patent system is.
    DNN101
    • Please stop speaking with authority.

      You obviously do not know what you are talking about.

      ?Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.? - Abraham Lincoln (who may still be the only president to hold a patent, wow, scored two hits on you in one.)
      TheProtector