Some iPhone accessories that attach to the phone via magnets—an attachable better camera lens is an example—may disrupt NFC communications and, therefore, Apple Pay, 9to5Mac is reporting.
The idea that magnetized devices could cause problems for a smartphone is not new, as Apple itself has flagged this in support documents as a known issue. The documented glitches, until now, have mostly been the phone’s inability to focus on a photographic target.
“Some users have noticed issues with the iPhone 6 Plus camera and NFC on both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, but the cause of the problem— interference from magnets and metal components in accessories— isn’t well documented,” the story said. ” Behind the scenes Apple has started telling at least accessory makers in its MFi program to avoid using metal and magnets due to the issue with iPhone 6 Plus optical image stabilization, according to sources familiar with Apple’s MFi licensing program. The magnetic interference can also cause problems with NFC performance on the new iPhones, and Apple has now started warning manufacturers in its MFi program with accessories supporting the devices to avoid magnets or metal. Apple previously had a warning for accessory makers about magnets or metal to avoid interference with the iPhone’s compass, a much less used feature than the camera or NFC features affected on the new phones.”
The story also noted that one case manufacturer, Rokform, has now started warning users of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus “that removing a magnetic component in its mountable case accessory might be necessary if interference occurs when utilizing NFC features.”