Apple says to keep iPhone 12 away from pacemakers…just in case

Apple has introduced new literature around using its iPhone 12 handsets and MagSafe accessories, amending it to contain new guidance around using the device near medical implants. 

a hand holding a cell phone: Apple MagSafe charger

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Apple MagSafe charger

Although it stops short of a stark warning, it indicates that consumers should be conscious of using the devices around lifesaving defibrillators, pacemakers, and other medical devices. Apple users should stay at least six inches clear of such devices when being used for day-to-day use, increasing to at least a foot away if the iPhone is wirelessly charging. 

Earlier in January, the Heart Rhythm Journal laid bare worrying information around the magnets in Apple’s devices. It shows that the technology can – in some instances – deactivate pacemakers. The journal demonstrated a situation in which an iPhone 12 caused a pacemaker to enter a suspended state. 

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Warnings like this have been in place with mobile devices for a while, as many smartphones include magnets, which can reduce the threshold for electronic interference. User health is one of Apple’s core brand offerings: devices like the Apple Watch Series 6 even have a sensor to detect how oxygenated your blood is at any given time, so the quickness of its response, to reports that its devices could harm users in certain scenarios is no surprise. 

In reply, the tech giant has issued a new support page that warns users about the magnets inside the spectrum of its new devices: the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max. It also contains guidance for the MagSafe Charger, and MagSafe Duo Charger accessories.

Apple notes that “iPhones contain magnets as well as components and radios that emit electromagnetic fields. All MagSafe accessories (each sold separately) also contain magnets—and MagSafe Charger and MagSafe Duo Charger contain radios. These magnets and electromagnetic fields might interfere with medical devices.” 

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