iPhone 12 Models Don't Pose Greater Risk of Magnetic Interference to Pacemakers and Medical Devices

Apple's iPhone 12 models are equipped with more magnets than prior models, featuring a ring of 18 magnets that surround a wireless charging coil to support MagSafe-based accessories. Given the increase in the number of magnets, those with medical devices that can experience magnetic interference such as pacemakers have wondered whether it's safe to use the new ‌iPhone‌ 12.

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Apple's recently updated iPhone safety information confirms that those able to use earlier iPhones will also be able to use the new ‌iPhone‌ 12 models without worrying about increased magnetic interference.

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‌iPhone‌ 12 magnets image via iFixit

According to Apple, the ‌iPhone‌ 12 models do not pose more of a risk of magnetic interference with medical devices than prior models. From the support document:

iPhone contains magnets as well as components and radios that emit electromagnetic fields. These magnets and electromagnetic fields may interfere with medical devices, such as pacemakers and defibrillators.

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 warns that those who have medical devices consult their doctors and medical device manufacturers for specific details on maintaining a safe distance of separation between medical devices and iPhones. Many pacemakers or implantable defibrillators, for example, need to be kept six inches from devices with magnets, including ‌iPhone‌ and iPad.

Consult your physician and medical device manufacturer for information specific to your medical device and whether you need to maintain a safe distance of separation between your medical device and iPhone. There are many types of medical devices, and manufacturers often provide recommendations on the safe use of their devices around wireless or magnetic products to prevent possible interference. If you suspect iPhone is interfering with your medical device, stop using iPhone.

Apple's safety warning is applicable to all ‌iPhone‌ 12 models, and suggests that the new iPhones are safe for those who have medical implants as long as the proper safety protocols for those devices are followed, with no specific considerations that need to be made for the greater number of magnets in the ‌iPhone‌ 12.

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Top Rated Comments

now i see it Avatar
49 months ago
if anyone cares to read the actual warning instead of the headline - Apl warns that an iPhone 12 must he kept at least 6 inches away from a pacemaker.
It wouldn't call that safe for those using a pacemaker.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
69Mustang Avatar
49 months ago

This is great to know. I didn’t think it’d be an issue but my wife has a pacemaker (in her early 30s) and was wondering about it with all the new magnets. Glad to see it’s safe.
If your wife has a pacemaker, please read the article a little bit more closely. It does not say it's safe at all. @jclo should probably better clarify the headline... and some of the context in the article as well. What the article implies and what Apple's statements say are not congruent.

Apple says:
Medical device interference iPhone contains magnets as well as components and radios that emit electromagnetic fields. These magnets and electromagnetic fields may interfere with medical devices, such as pacemakers and defibrillators.

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

Consult your physician and medical device manufacturer for information specific to your medical device and whether you need to maintain a safe distance of separation between your medical device and iPhone. There are many types of medical devices, and manufacturers often provide recommendations on the safe use of their devices around wireless or magnetic products to prevent possible interference. If you suspect iPhone is interfering with your medical device, stop using iPhone.

In no way does that imply safe. The article's intent is to say the 12 should be no more of an interference than prior models. Emphasis on "should be". To be fair, the article is doing a heck of a job at implying the 12 is safe like you assumed.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ChrisMoBro Avatar
49 months ago
Apple just chose to use weak magnets...
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
480951 Avatar
49 months ago
This is great to know. I didn’t think it’d be an issue but my wife has a pacemaker (in her early 30s) and was wondering about it with all the new magnets. Glad to see it’s safe.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Gizmotoy Avatar
48 months ago

I picked up the iPhone 12 on release date as I do each year with the new iPhones, I have an ICD fitted and have done for the past 9 years but I’ve got to be honest I believe this iPhone 12 is playing a part with some kind of interference. It’s to coincidental that since I’ve had my phone for the past week I’ve started having more high heart rhythms and feel like my ICD is pacing a lot more.
I hope I’m wrong but I’m currently only using my Mac for the wkend to see if there is a difference.
Day 1 without using iPhone 12 and the first 24hrs have been fine. Day 2 il use my phone and post results for those that are interested. I understand everyone is different so please don’t judge I’m just going off my personal experience. I would be pretty disappointed if I could not get my new iPhone each year if the magnets do interfere with my personal ICD. Thanks
I'm sorry to hear that. I'm curious what you find from your experiment.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DotCom2 Avatar
49 months ago
If you had knee replacement..new way to carry your phone.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)