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.

iphone12promagsafe
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.

magsafeinternals

‌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.

Related Roundups: iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro

Top Rated Comments

now i see it Avatar
4 weeks 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: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
69Mustang Avatar
4 weeks 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. [USER=771561]@jclo[/USER] 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: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ChrisMoBro Avatar
4 weeks ago
Apple just chose to use weak magnets...
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DotCom2 Avatar
4 weeks ago
If you had knee replacement..new way to carry your phone.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kyle4 Avatar
4 weeks 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: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Gizmotoy Avatar
4 weeks 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.

There are really aren't many (any?) electronics that would be given an unmitigated OK to be within 6" of a pacemaker or ICD. Typically you're instructed to not even talk with a cell phone on that side of your head because it's too close if you forget and tilt your head to hold it in place with your shoulder.


Patients with pacemakers can have an MRI. That magnet is at least 1.5 Tesla.

The magnet in the iPhone is probably more like a strong fridge magnet. Can you go near a fridge with magnets? ?

Also, Apple are not giving specific medical advice. They said “no more risk than previous iPhones”, which just means that the strength of the magnet in the iPhone 12 is so weak that there should be no change in risk for medical devices, whatever that risk happens to be.

That's only on relatively new models, and even then the device needs to be put into a special "MRI mode" to allow that. With ICDs, a magnetic field actually disables the defibrillator functionality completely (though they commonly beep when in that mode so you know). With both a Pacemaker and ICD, a magnet over the device typically (but not always, depends on device) changes it from synchronous to asynchronous pacing mode. Neither of these is something you want using your phone to be triggering.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

2020 apple shopping event

Apple Offering Up to $150 Gift Card With Select Products on Black Friday Through Cyber Monday

Monday November 23, 2020 2:53 am PST by
Apple has announced its annual four-day shopping event, offering customers up to a $150 Apple Store gift card with the purchase of select products between Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States. The gift card values in the United States are as follows: $150 for 16-inch MacBook Pro $150 for 21.5-inch iMac $50 for 13-inch MacBook Pro $50 for MacBook Air $50 for iPhone SE,...
0 Deals Hero

Black Friday 2020: Best Apple Deals to Plan For

Saturday November 21, 2020 10:00 am PST by
In the lead-up to Black Friday next week, we've been putting a spotlight on the best deals coming from various retailers like Best Buy and Walmart. In an effort to further prepare our readers for the best Black Friday deals, we're breaking down what we think should be on your radar for Black Friday in 2020. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a...
app store christmas icon

Apple Shutting Down App Store Connect From December 23 to December 27

Monday November 23, 2020 10:14 am PST by
Apple shuts down App Store Connect for a week around the holidays each year in an effort to give App Store staff time off from work. This year, App Store Connect will be unavailable from December 23 to December 27. With App Store Connect unavailable, Apple will not accept new apps or app updates, so all pricing changes and new app submissions need to be locked in before those dates for...
Target November Deals 1

Black Friday Spotlight: Target Begins Week-Long Sale With Deals on iPhone 12, Powerbeats Pro, and More

Monday November 23, 2020 8:07 am PST by
We've been tracking early Black Friday deals in our dedicated Black Friday Roundup, and in an effort to prepare our readers for the big shopping event we're highlighting sales store-by-store in the lead-up to November 27. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Target. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running....
ipad pro 2020 display

Black Friday Week Kicks Off With Up to $150 Savings on 2020 iPad Pro

Sunday November 22, 2020 2:37 pm PST by
As we head into Black Friday week, we're seeing some of the best deals of the season so far, with Amazon and Best Buy today discounting the latest iPad Pro models by up to $150 at the lowest prices we've ever tracked on these models. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep ...
mac mini macbook pro macbook air

Apple M1 Hands-On Comparison: MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro vs. Mac Mini

Monday November 23, 2020 3:40 pm PST by
Apple's M1 Macs are out in the wild now, but ahead of the holidays, you might still be trying to figure out which one to pick up, either for yourself or as a gift for someone else. We've got all three of the new Macs available, so we thought we'd give MacRumors readers a hands-on overview of each machine in our latest YouTube video. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. ...
macos big sur m1 macs restore issue

Apple Provides Instructions to Fix macOS Reinstallation Errors on M1 Macs

Sunday November 22, 2020 3:30 pm PST by
Shortly after the launch of Apple's new M1 Macs, we saw reports that attempts to restore and reinstall macOS on those machines right away could result in an installation error that would leave your Mac non-functional. Specifically, the error message would read: "An error occurred preparing the update. Failed to personalize the software update. Please try again." Over the weekend, Apple p...
max tech xcode benchmark m1 macbook

Video Demos Performance Differences Between 8GB and 16GB Apple M1 MacBook Pro

Monday November 23, 2020 2:54 pm PST by
All of the M1 Mac models use the same M1 chip, so the upgrade options are limited to SSD storage space and RAM. We haven't seen many comparisons that demonstrate the difference between a machine with 8GB RAM and the upgraded 16GB RAM option, but Max Tech today shared a video highlighting the performance between an 8GB MacBook Pro and a 16GB MacBook Pro. The video includes a series of...
iPhone 6s main

Rumor Claims iOS 15 to Drop Support for iPhone 6s and Original iPhone SE

Sunday November 22, 2020 9:25 am PST by
Apple will drop support for the iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, and iPhone 6s Plus in next year's release of iOS 15, according to a rumor shared today by Israeli site The Verifier. If the rumor is accurate, that would mean iOS 15 will be compatible with the following Apple devices: 2021 iPhone series iPhone 12 Pro Max iPhone 12 Pro iPhone 12 mini iPhone 12 iPhone 11 iPhone 11 Pro iPhone 11 Pro ...
new mac mini logicpro screen

M1 Macs Able to Run Up to Six External Displays Using DisplayLink

Tuesday November 24, 2020 6:53 am PST by
It is possible to run up to six external displays from the M1 Mac mini, and five external displays from the M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, with the aid of DisplayPort adapters, according to YouTuber Ruslan Tulupov. This far exceeds Apple's specified limits on external displays with the M1 Macs. Apple's host of new M1 Macs are not capable of supporting as many external displays as their...