Keep your iPhone 12 away from implanted medical devices

Magnets in the back of the iPhone 12 series should be kept away from implanted pacemakers and defibrillators.
Photo: Apple

Magnets and implanted medical devices don’t mix. Apple warned users of the iPhone 12 and MagSafe accessories that these devices all have built-in magnets, and therefore should be kept away from pacemakers and defibrillators that have been surgically implanted in someone’s body for safety reasons.

MagSafe safety

“iPhone contains magnets as well as components and radios that emit electromagnetic fields,” says an Apple support document. And all MagSafe accessories also have magnets, and some include radios.

Apple warns, “To avoid any potential interactions with these devices, keep your iPhone and MagSafe accessories a safe distance away from your device.” That’s more than 6 inches (15 cm) apart at all times. And more than 12 inches (30 cm apart) if wirelessly charging.

Anyone with an implanted pacemaker or defibrillator is urged to avoid close contact with any mobile phone or magnet. There’s nothing special about the the Apple products that causes an additional risk. Those with one of these medical devices certainly shouldn’t keep their phone in their jacket or shirt pocket.

Apple loves magnets

Apple has implanted magnets in its iPads for many years. These let cases cling to the tablets. The same goes for the Apple Pencil 2.

The idea carried over to the iPhone 12 series last autumn. This was the inception of the revamped MagSafe system, which puts magnets around the wireless charging coil to automatically align the handset to the charger. And keep it there.