AirTag Removable Battery Sparks Child Safety Concerns

More than a week following their international debut, Apple's AirTag item tracker is now facing child safety concerns about its replaceable battery.

airtag battery pry apart
AirTags feature a standard replaceable CR2032 coin-cell battery that Apple says can power an ‌AirTag‌ for an entire year. The battery in an ‌AirTag‌ can be removed by pushing down and twisting the ‌AirTag‌'s back-plate, a fairly straightforward and easy process.

However, the easy battery replacement process has prompted concerns that a child could access the battery and potentially pose a safety risk to themselves. As reported by Gizmodo, concerns are high enough to have caused major Australian retailer Officeworks to temporarily pull AirTags from its shelves.

The retailer hasn't confirmed the exact reason, although the report notes that multiple Reddit users have said that an Officeworks representative confirmed the retailer's concerns over child safety.

"Staff at the counter could see on their system that they had some in stock, and one staff member even remembered selling them on Friday, but they couldn’t find them today," the user wrote in a post.

They went onto say that an Officeworks representative told them that the AirTags were removed due to safety concerns, specifically regarding how easy it is for the button-cell battery to be removed by a child.

Furthermore, in a statement given to Gizmodo, Apple preemptively confirmed that the battery replacement process is at the center of the retail chain's decision to pull AirTags from its shelf temporarily.

"AirTag is designed to meet international child safety standards, including those in Australia, by requiring a two step push-and-turn mechanism to access the user-replaceable battery," an Apple representative said in an email to Gizmodo Australia.

"We are following the regulations closely and are working to ensure that our products will meet or exceed new standards, including those for package labelling, well ahead of the timeline required."

Officeworks says that AirTags will stay off its shelves until "further guidance is provided from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission," which happens to be the same authority currently investigating Apple over claims of anti-competitive market behavior.

Australian regulations require that any consumer good that features a battery compartment that's accessible to the consumer, whether or not the battery is intended to be replaced, must "be designed to ensure the compartment is resistant to being opened by young children." Regulations also state that the battery compartment must feature "screws or similar fasteners used to secure the door."

AirTags don't feature any screws visible to the consumer. However, to access the battery compartment, the user must first press down and twist the back plate. So, while there are definite concerns, it's unlikely AirTags violates any direct regulatory clause. Instead, it's likely that a lack of clarity regarding how Apple's AirTags fit with the existing regulations has caused the retailer to pull them.

Top Rated Comments

CaptainBlue Avatar
37 months ago
I don't know, but maybe don't give an electrical device to your kids? Maybe supervise them? Maybe take some responsibility...
Score: 162 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PilotWoo Avatar
37 months ago
If they had made the battery fixed - APPLE BUILT IN OBSOLESCENCE SCANDAL
Because they didn't, we now get this headline. The media is getting pretty tiring these days.

As others have said, kids will destroy/swallow/put up their nose practically anything they can. Move on :)
Score: 94 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sergekills Avatar
37 months ago
Well... I think that people should keep an eye on their kids by themselves and not make Apple responsible for THEIR actions. Like duh
Score: 85 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Eddy Munn Avatar
37 months ago
Most children could eat the whole thing if they wanted too, let alone the battery. Perhaps a 2021 Tide Pod challenge?
Score: 72 Votes (Like | Disagree)
appahappa Avatar
37 months ago
Oh, what the hell!? Everything poses a risk to a child. Coins are dangerous, pencils, many more things in households. Forbid everything!
Score: 62 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SigurTom Avatar
37 months ago

Most children could eat the whole thing if they wanted too, let alone the battery. Perhaps a 2021 Tide Pod challenge?
Not just children, I’ve been living on a strict diet of airtags since release.
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 17

10 New Things Your iPhone Can Do in Next Week's iOS 17.4 Update

Friday March 1, 2024 1:30 am PST by
Apple will this month release iOS 17.4, its biggest iPhone software update of the year so far, featuring a number of features and changes that users have been anticipating for quite a while. Below, we've listed 10 new things that your iPhone will be able to do after you've installed the update, which is projected to arrive by March 7. When the day arrives, be sure to check Settings ➝...
Apple Maps vs Google Maps Feature

Apple Maps vs. Google Maps: Which Is Better?

Friday March 1, 2024 7:10 am PST by
Apple Maps has been providing navigational guidance to Apple users for almost 13 and a half years now, and much has changed about the app in that time. However, according to data from Canalys, the overwhelming majority of iPhones in the U.S. still have Google Maps downloaded as an alternative to Apple Maps, which comes preinstalled on all iPhones. We want to hear from MacRumors readers. Which do...
apple tv plus banner

Apple TV+ Gains Over 50 Movies for a Limited Time

Friday March 1, 2024 6:29 am PST by
Apple TV+ today gained over 50 movies, adding to its back catalog of content for a limited time. The collection includes a large number of popular and classic titles. Subscribers can access the movies in a "Great Movies on Apple TV+" section in the Apple TV app. Some titles are also available in 3D. Movies in the collection include: 21 Jump Street 300 American Sniper Argo ...
airpods pro 2 pink

Apple Releases New Beta Firmware for AirPods Pro 2

Thursday February 29, 2024 11:41 am PST by
Apple today introduced a new beta firmware update for the AirPods Pro 2, both the USB-C and Lightning versions. The new firmware is version 6E188, up from the prior 6B34 firmware released in December. Apple does not often provide details or notes on what features might be included in the refreshed firmware, so it is unclear what's new. Note that this software is limited to developers at the...
iOS 18 Mock Feature Baubles

Will Your iPhone Support iOS 18? Here's What the Latest Rumor Says

Thursday February 29, 2024 7:29 am PST by
iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 are still over three months away from being unveiled, but we may already know which devices will be compatible with the updates. iOS 18 will be compatible with the same iPhone models as iOS 17, meaning that the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR from 2018 will remain supported for at least another year, according to information shared this week by a source with a...
maxresdefault

Apple Spent More Than $10 Billion on Apple Car Before Canceling Project

Wednesday February 28, 2024 5:13 pm PST by
Apple spent more than $10 billion working on the Apple Car over the last decade, according to a report from The New York Times that details the issues the project faced during development. Apple first launched the project in 2014 and let it flounder for more than a decade before calling it off earlier this week. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Money was spent on...