In an advisory on Saturday’s Apple support page, the company has extended the safety details previously released, alerting users to the fact that iPhones contain magnets and radios emitting electromagnetic fields that both “may interfere”.
The Saturday Note informs users of all four iPhone 12 models and MagSafe accessories on the “the magnets inside” Apple (AAPL) states that versions of the iPhone 12 have more magnets than before, but also that they do not pose a greater risk of magnetic interference than previous models of medical devices.
In the update, Apple said that medical devices can contain sensors that can respond to near proximity magnets or radio waves. The company recommends maintaining a “safe distance” from medical equipment that is more than 6″ apart from iPhones and MagSafes — or 15″ apart when charging wirelessly.
When Apple released the iPhone 12 last Autumn, the company revealed that MagSafe – once a popular MacBook feature – would also return to the iPhone. Customers can buy wirelessly magnetic accessories, including cases and wallets attached to the back of their phones from MagSafe charging docks.
Apple did not answer a request for comment immediately as to why it now expands the safety guidelines. However, the Heart Rhythm Journal published a study this month stating that an embedded pacemaker might be interfered with if the magnets on the iPhone 12 make it compatible with MagSafe accessories.Health experts have long recommended that mobile phones should not be used or kept near implanted medical equipment — advising people to not store them in pockets, for example.
“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,” said Apple in the notice. “For the protection of their systems around wireless or magnetic goods, the manufacturers also suggest to avoid any intrusion.”
If a consumer thinks that their iPhone 12 or MagSafe charger interferes with their medical device, they should avoid using it, Apple said.
One thing iPhone 12 users should be conscious of when using MagSafe chargers: avoid putting credit cards, security badges, passports or key FOBs between your phone and your MagSafe charger, as these magnets may harm magnetic strips or RFID chips, Apple alerts. If you have a phone case containing such things, be sure to remove them before charging your mobile wirelessly.