Important notice for iPhone owners: Apple is warning its customers that their smartphones may interfere with medical devices, including pacemakers.
Posted on Apple’s support page on Saturday, the company expanded on its previous version of security information, warning users that iPhones contain magnets and radios that emit electromagnetic fields, which can be used in medical devices such as implanted pacemakers and pacemakers Can “interfere” with devices.
Saturday’s notice specifically warned users of all four iPhone 12 models “inside magnets”, as well as MagSafe accessories. Apple noted that the iPhone 12 versions have more magnets than previous iPhone models, but also said that they did not pose a greater risk of magnetic interference with medical devices than previous models.
Apple said in the update that medical devices may have sensors that can interact with nearby magnets or radio waves. The company advises iPhones and MagSafe devices to have a “safe” distance from medical devices – which are known to be over 6 inches or 15 inches apart from wireless charging.
When the Apple IPhone 12 was revealed last fall, the company also announced the return of MagSafe – a popular MacBook feature for the first iPhone. Customers can purchase a MagaSafe charging station to refurbish their wireless devices, as well as other magnetic accessories including bags and wallets that attach to the back of the phone.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment on why it is now expanding its security guidelines. But the Heart Rhythm Journal report was released earlier this month, claiming that iPhone 12 magnets that make it compatible with MagaSafe accessories may interfere with an implanted defibrillator.
“Consult your physician and manufacturer of the medical device for information about your medical device and whether you need to maintain a safe distance between your medical device and the iPhone or any MagSafe accessory,” Apple said in the notice. “Manufacturers often provide recommendations on the safe use of their devices regarding wireless or magnetic products to avoid potential interference.”
Apple stated that if a customer feels that their iPhone 12 or MagSafe charger is interfering with their medical device, they should stop using it.
IPhone 12 users should be careful when using a MagSafe charger: Avoid placing credit cards, security badges, passports, or FOB keys between your phone and your MagSafe charger, as magnets can damage magnetic tape or RFID chips in these items is. Apple beware. If you have a phone case that contains such items, be sure to remove them before charging your device wirelessly.