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Apple Warns iPhone 12 Users to Keep Phone Away from Pacemakers

Apple is warning iPhone 12 users that the magnets in its magnetic accessories could interfere with implanted medical devices.

In a new support document published last week, Apple provided more clarity on the issue, which the company, as well as medical professionals, have warned about since the new phones were released last October.

Apple cautions that its MagSafe accessories, specifically the MagSafe Charger and MagSafe Duo Charger, may pose a risk to those with medical devices such as implanted pacemakers and defibrillators, as the sensors in those devices may respond to magnets and radios in the accessories or the phones.

“To avoid any potential interactions with these devices, keep your iPhone and MagSafe accessories a safe distance away from your device (more than 6 inches / 15 cm apart or more than 12 inches / 30 cm apart if wirelessly charging),” Apple says.

Apple is encouraging users to consult their doctor, as well as the manufacturer of their medical device, for more guidance. It also noted that while the iPhone 12 contains more magnets than past iPhone models, it doesn’t expect them to “pose a greater risk of magnetic interference to medical devices.”

Medical experts are also warning of the potential interference from iPhone 12 devices and their accessories. In a study published in January in Heart Rhythm Journal, three doctors examined how the MagSafe magnets affected implanted medical devices: When an iPhone 12 was held close to the chest of a patient with an implanted cardiac defibrillator, the device went into “immediate suspension,” the doctors found.

Apple’s MagSafe accessories work by adhering to the back of the iPhone 12 models via a magnetic coil implanted in the back of the phone. The company launched an array of MagSafe products in October, including magnetic wallets and cases, as well as the MagSafe Charger and the Duo Charger, which charges both an iPhone and an Apple Watch at the same time.

Shortly after the accessories launched, Apple warned that the chargers could cause other issues, including damaging leather iPhone cases or harming RFID chips, like those found in security badges or credit cards, if they were placed in between the phone and the charger.

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