If Apple MagSafe tech’s abysmal charging speeds compared to wired alternatives weren’t enough of a letdown, an article written by doctors and published in the Heart Rhythm Journal showed a cardiac pacemaker being deactivated by the magnets in the iPhone 12 (via Mac Magazine).
Because of the addition of MagSafe capabilities, every member of the iPhone 12 lineup has more magnets than older iPhones.
While Apple says the iPhone 12 is “not expected to pose a greater risk of magnetic interference to medical devices than prior iPhone models,” it has not shied away from admitting that the iPhone 12 (and MagSafe accessories) can cause electromagnetic interference with pacemakers, defibrillators, and other medical devices in very close proximity.
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. All MagSafe accessories (each sold separately) also contain magnets—and MagSafe Charger and MagSafe Duo Charger contain radios. These magnets and electromagnetic fields might interfere with medical devices.
Apple also has an entire section on Medical device interference in the Important safety information for iPhone part of the iPhone User Guide.
With all signs pointing toward the iPhone 13 dropping the Lightning port to leverage wireless charging, it’ll be interesting to see how Apple mitigates electronic and electromagnetic interference issues with the next iPhone.