Apple warns that MagSafe and iPhone 12 can interact with pacemakers and defibrillators

Iphone 12 Magsafe Case Internal Hero
Iphone 12 Magsafe Case Internal Hero (Image credit: Joe Wituschek / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple has updated a support document to make it clearer that iPhone 12 and MagSafe accessories can interact with pacemakers and defibrillators.

Apple has updated a support document to make it more clear that iPhone 12 and MagSafe accessories could potentially interact with a person's implanted pacemaker. The same goes for implanted defibrillators, too.

First noted by MacRumors, the support document has gained a new paragraph that warns users that they should keep MagSafe magnets away from any devices they may have implanted.

Medical devices such as implanted pacemakers and defibrillators might contain sensors that respond to magnets and radios when in close contact. 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). But consult with your physician and your device manufacturer for specific guidelines.

Apple's text previously said that while magnets are used in MagSafe, it shouldn't be an issue any more than any other phone.

Though all iPhone 12 models contain more magnets than prior iPhone models, they're not expected to pose a greater risk of magnetic interference to medical devices than prior iPhone models.

Apple had previously been vague in its stance on whether MagSafe could impact a person's implanted medical device, but this new addition to an existing support document does make things much more clear. However, it's still important to speak to your doctor if you're at all concerned about your particular situation.

This update comes after a report earlier this month noted that MagSafe could be troublesome if placed too close to a particular type of device.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.