Magnet-based phone case hits $100K crowdfunding goal in 48 minutes

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Magnets are the key to Mobile by Peak Design.


Peak Design

Want a way to mount your phone almost anywhere, in a car, on a bike or even to a wall? San Francisco-based Peak Design has built a mounting system that seeks to make it easier to hold your phone securely in all those situations. 

Called Mobile by Peak Design, the system starts with a phone case for an Apple iPhone or Samsung phone. Magnets on the back of the case can lock it onto accessories such has a bike or car mount, mini tripod or a wallet on the back of your phone. There will also be an adhesive universal adapter that will enable the Mobile mounting system to work on other phone cases.

The Mobile system went on presale Monday morning through a Kickstarter campaign, with availability expected in spring 2021. The campaign crossed its $100,000 goal within 48 minutes of going live. And 31 minutes later, it crossed $200,000. Peak Design also makes photography accessories and travel gear such as its Travel Backpack that raised over $5 million on Kickstarter, as well as a travel tripod.  

I’ve been using a preproduction version of the case with a range of mounts on an iPhone 11 Pro. The magnets create a tight seal, though there’s also the added safety net of a physical, clasp-locking system for the bicycle or motorcycle mount. It’s been easy to hot swap the phone in and out of all the mounts — and I’ve never felt like the phone was about to come loose on its own.

If you’re wondering whether the system will work with Apple’s new MagSafe system for the iPhone 12, Peak Design says the case, mounts and accessories will all be MagSafe-compatible.

The phone case I’ve been using is made of nylon canvas and feels quite thin, so I’m not sure of how well it would stand up to drops when the phone isn’t mounted on an accessory. I’ve contacted but haven’t heard back yet from Peak Design to find out whether the final version will have any drop protection or official rating. Still, the case I’m using is a preproduction unit, so the construction may change between now and final release.

Editors’ note: As always, please note that CNET’s reporting on crowdfunding campaigns is not an endorsement of the project or its creators. Before contributing to any campaign, read the crowdfunding site’s policies — in this case, Kickstarter — to find out your rights (and refund policies, or the lack thereof) before and after a campaign ends.

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