Apple warns of magnets in iPhone 12 interfering with pacemakers

Apple is warning customers that its smartphones could interfere with medical devices, including pacemakers.

In a notice published on Apple’s support page Saturday, the company expanded upon previously issued safety information, warning users that iPhones contain magnets and radios that emit electromagnetic fields, both of which “may interfere” with medical devices such as implanted pacemakers and defibrillators.

The Saturday notice specifically warns users about “the magnets inside” all four iPhone 12 models, as well as MagSafe accessories.

MagSafe is magnetic technology from Apple, built into the internal engineering of iPhone 12 to create a new ecosystem of accessories for easy attachment and faster wireless charging.

Apple notes that iPhone 12 versions contain more magnets than prior iPhone models, but it also said they don’t pose a greater risk of magnetic interference with medical devices than earlier models.

Apple said in the update that medical devices can contain sensors that may react to magnets or radio waves that come in close proximity. The company recommends keeping iPhones and MagSafe chargers a “safe distance” – about 6 inches apart, or 15 inches apart when wirelessly charging – away from medical devices.

Health experts have long cautioned not to use or hold cellphones too close to implanted medical devices — for example, warning people not to store them in shirt pockets.

“Consult your physician and medical device manufacturer for information specific to your medical device and whether you need to maintain a safe distance of separation between your medical device and iPhone or any MagSafe accessories,” Apple said in the notice.

Another thing iPhone 12 users should be aware of  when using MagSafe chargers is avoid placing credit cards, security badges, passports or key FOBs between your phone and your MagSafe charger, as the magnets might damage magnetic strips or RFID chips in these items, Apple warned.