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BMW's in-car wireless charging will break your new iPhone 15

Got an iPhone 15 series handset and a BMW? Maybe steer clear of the car's wireless charger for now.
By

Published onOctober 2, 2023

Apple iPhone 15 Pro App Drawer
TL;DR
  • Some iPhone 15 models are reportedly crashing when using wirelessly charging in a BMW.
  • Affected customers are unable to use Apple Pay once their phones have been restored.

The iPhone 15 series is out, and we’ve already discovered and confirmed heating issues with the Pro phones. Apple says a software update is on the way, but it looks like the company has another problem on its hands.

Some iPhone 15 series users on the MacRumors forums confirmed that their handsets went into data recovery mode while wirelessly charging the phones in a BMW vehicle. Unfortunately, these people were unable to use Apple Pay after their phone had been restored, suggesting that the NFC chip was broken.

iPhone 15 NFC issue: What could be the cause?

Some customers noted that the issue persisted with replacement devices, suggesting that these aren’t isolated incidents. It’s also worth noting that this issue tentatively seems to affect iPhone 15 Pro models rather than the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus. A few users also noted that they were able to wirelessly charge older Apple handsets in their BMW car without issue.

Wireless charging in general does tend to produce more heat than wired charging. However, we’d expect even more heat if you’re wirelessly charging your phone in a car on a hot day and with no cooling measures for the charging pad (e.g. a cooling fan in the pad itself or air conditioning). So this scenario combined with the iPhone 15 Pro’s reported heating issues could conceivably result in extremely hot conditions that could theoretically cause damage. But this is just speculation for now.

Nevertheless, iPhone 15 owners might not want to use wireless charging in their BMWs for now. At least until Apple and/or BMW address the problem. We’ve contacted Apple for comment regarding the matter and will update the article if/when it gets back to us.