NFC Built In to Apple's New iPhone 12 MagSafe Feature

Has anyone else seen this?

There’s still so much to learn, but I it seems like there might be 2 NFC sensors. I wonder if the sensor built in to MagSafe will be more powerful of a reader? Has anyone looked into this more?

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doubt it will be any more powerful its just changing the placement of the nfc antenna

One nice feature might be the ability to more accurately scan through a case, though. Usually a case will make scanning more difficult, but if they can do MagSafe charging through the case when stacked, maybe the same will be try for NFC

With the right case NFC doesn’t work that bad through it on iPhone. I have Apple’s leather case on my iPhone X and I get rather consistent reads

I kinda hope / expect they didn’t remove the normal nfc antenna

It’s placement was pretty good for presenting to a reader, or even scanning implants honestly…
I’ve had better luck with iPhones than most androids since you can see where your scanning

I Bet the nfc for the MagSafe is simply to detect chargers or various accessories

i doubt they did… my bet is that they want nfc there to communicate with magsafe accessories

Can confirm, standard nfc antenna is still on top
Read VERY nicely…
Better than my XR

Now I’m gunna play with the secondary… see if it can read a Xsiid or next lol

After some casual poking and prodding, I can’t get the mag safe nfc antenna to do anything


They might be using it on the OS level only to determine what accessories are used, and not exposing it to applications for them to use. Alternatively, if apps can use it, I highly doubt the existing API would work with two separate antennas, and so apps need to be updated.

Either way, this isn’t unexpected. Only thing I can suggest is trying an xFD at many different positions around the magsafe area!

I used my XSIID to check for any field, nada

The rest of it, yea you’re probably right, I never needed or expected the mag safe nfc to do anything for me,

Was mostly a crude exploration

My iPhone 12 Pro arrives on Tuesday if all goes well. I’ll let you know if it still has the NFC antenna at the top.
Edit: looks like @Eriequiet already confirmed it…
I’ll try other things though, maybe purchase a magsafe accessory and scan it with an NFC reader, see if I can clone it :wink:


Maybe you can sniff it and decipher the exchange

Ooooo, that does sound very interesting. Despite my complete lack of interest in owning Apple hardware, their designs and performance always fascinate me. @Vicarious I look forward to seeing your analysis if you end up getting an accessory

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Fwiw I probably won’t be getting an iPhone 12 now, I was hopeful the lidar scanner could be used as a 3D scanner for 3D printing… sounds like it’s only good for furniture sized objects

Even if LIDAR isnt useful for the object itself, isn’t being able to use it to better track the environment likely to give you a better result in using the camera to make a model from the optical data? Along with a depth map to throw out any points that are way off? Might not be the holy grail, but should still help, no?

That still sounds a lot like photogametry


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I’ve tried since Tuesday, but so far the LEDs on the RFID Diagnostic Card, XFD Field Detector, xLED implant didn’t light up near the MagSafe NFC coil.

The only MagSafe accessory I could buy at a local consumer electronics store is Apple’s silicon case for the iPhone 12/12 Pro.

I tried scanning the silicon case for NFC tags with multiple RFID/NFC readers, but haven’t gotten any results so far.

When I attach the case to the iPhone, this appears on the screen:

Maybe this is triggered by the magnets inside the silicon case? I’ll do some more experimenting in the next couple days.


The exploded view of the magsafe system in the OP seems to include a magnetometer, so I would say this is almost certainly what is happening. I hope Apple releases more interesting accessories soon that are more likely to need the NFC capabilities…

it might not be an actual NFC scannable “tag”… it might be something magnetically coupled but proprietary… dunno…

Considering it’s apple, imma go ahead and guess that its probably proprietary…


In my experimentation the different coloured phone cases show a different (matching) animation on the screen and works from both the front and back of the case so I’d say it’s definitely active and communicating some kind of data rather than just detecting a magnet in the case.