iPhone and NOT MagSafe magnetic mount

I have a 2017 magnetic car vent iPhone mount, that uses a metal plate stuck on the phone or inside a case. This is not a MagSafe mount.

I just tried using the mount with an iPhone 12, without the metal plate. It held up the phone!

Since there’s no way this mount has magnets in the MagSafe configuration, what is the magnet grabbing onto in the phone? Are there any cons to using it this way, assuming that the magnetic attraction is strong enough?

I think the bulk of MagSafe is just magnets, and I don’t think there would be any harm in using it, assuming the magnetic attraction is strong enough, as you say.

I’m thinking the mount magnet is attracted to the MagSafe coil in the phone. And the attraction isn’t strong enough to securely hold the phone.

According to iFixit there is a ring of permanent magnets around the coil for the mounting.

The coil itself is not used for attachment.

Right, but my mount is not a MagSafe mount. It doesn’t have magnets in a configuration that matches the MagSafe ring.

True, but half of those magnets should be in the correct polarity for your mount’s magnet. Clearly, their attraction (or at least those close to the mount’s magnet) is enough to overcome the repulsion from the other magnets (which have the opposite polarity), but not by a lot, hence the reason why the connection is not strong.

The coil is almost certainly copper, and therefore won’t be attracted to a magnet.

Will the phone stick to the metal plate (without the mount’s magnet)? That might be another interesting option, if it works.

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Yeah, I think you’re right. It would also explain why the attraction is off-center.

The phone barely sticks to the metal plate; it is too small.