If you have a pacemaker, you may want to be careful around the iPhone 12.
On Saturday, Apple published a support document that says its newest iPhone models and MagSafe accessories “might interfere” with medical devices. The reason? The products contain more magnets than the average Apple hardware.
“Medical devices such as implanted pacemakers and defibrillators might contain sensors that respond to magnets and radios when in close contact,” Apple wrote, without elaborating.
As a precaution, the company is advising people to keep the iPhones and MagSafe accessories “more than 6 inches” away from the medical devices, and “more than 12 inches” apart when the iPhone 12 is wirelessly charging. The affected products include the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max.
Apple didn’t say why it released the support document at this time. But earlier this month, a medical journal released a paper that said the iPhone 12 can disrupt defibrillator functionality.
“Once the iPhone was brought close to the ICD (Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator) over the left chest area, immediate suspension of ICD therapies was noted which persisted for the duration of the test,” the Heart Rhythm Journal found. “This was reproduced multiple times with different positions of the phone over the pocket.”
Whether Apple has received user reports of the iPhone 12 interfering with medical devices is unclear. The company didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. But the support document reiterates what Apple already knew. In November, Cupertino released a user guide that also warned that magnets in the iPhone 12 might interfere with medical devices, even though they’re not expected to.
Saturday’s support document goes on to advise affected users to consult their physician and medical device manufacturer on whether they need to maintain a safe distance from an iPhone 12. “If you suspect iPhone or any MagSafe accessories are interfering with your medical device, stop using your iPhone or MagSafe accessories,” it adds.