Why Apple killed MagSafe

Philip Elmer-DeWitt

The long-rumored successor to the MacBook Air—the last Mac with the easy-release power cord—is just hours away.


Why oh why did Apple kill MagSafe?, I asked in June, anticipating that this day would come. Here are the answers I’ve heard since:

  1. Nobody trips over power cords anymore. Batteries in modern MacBooks last practically all day. You can recharge them at night, like an iPhone. Anyway, it’s not wise battery management to leave your MacBook plugged in 24-7.
  2. Nearly every device in the world (except the iPhone) has adopted the USB-C standard for power and data. It’s a good one, designed to be “future proof.” We’ll use it.
  3. USB-C components are manufactured by the gazillions. They’re cheap and widely available. And the margins on dongles is sweet.
  4. When you trip on a USB-C power cord it pulls out just as easily as MagSafe. At least from some angles.

My take: I’ve been in a funk since the extended warranty on my 2015 MacBook Air expired, but the whinging is over. I need a new laptop and I’m ready to buy. Please, Apple, don’t make it hard for me.