Apple Promises to Fix iPhone 15 NFC Issue Caused by BMW Wireless Charging

Apple has recently acknowledged a problem that affects some iPhone 15 users who charge their devices wirelessly in certain BMW and Toyota Supra models. The issue temporarily disables the NFC chip in the iPhone, which powers features like Apple Pay and digital car keys. Apple has informed its service providers about the issue and promised to release a software update to fix it later this year.

What is the NFC chip and why is it important?

The NFC chip is a small component in an iPhone that enables near field communication, a technology that allows devices to exchange data over short distances. The NFC chip is used for various features that enhance user convenience and security, such as:

  • Apple Pay: A contactless payment system that allows users to pay with their iPhones at compatible terminals, without using physical cards or cash.
Apple Promises to Fix iPhone 15 NFC Issue Caused by BMW Wireless Charging
Apple Promises to Fix iPhone 15 NFC Issue Caused by BMW Wireless Charging
  • Digital car keys: A feature that lets users unlock and start their vehicles with their iPhones, without using physical keys or fobs.
  • AirTag: A small tracker device that can be attached to items and located with the Find My app on the iPhone, using the NFC chip to play a sound or display a message when tapped.
  • App Clips: A feature that lets users access a small part of an app without downloading it, by scanning a QR code or an NFC tag with their iPhones.

With such capabilities, the NFC chip is integral to the modern iPhone experience.

What is the problem and how does it affect users?

According to MacRumors, Apple has recently informed its Authorized Service Providers about a potential issue that iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max users may encounter when charging their devices with specific wireless chargers built into select BMW and Toyota Supra models. The problem temporarily disables the NFC capabilities of the device, impacting features like Apple Pay and digital car keys.

Users affected by this issue may receive an error message stating “Could Not Set Up Apple Pay” in the Wallet app, even if they’ve previously configured Apple Pay on their devices. Some users have also reported that their iPhones go into data recovery mode with a white screen after using the wireless charger. After rebooting, the NFC chip remains nonfunctional.

The scale of this issue remains uncertain, as complaints have surfaced across platforms like MacRumors Forums and X, formerly known as Twitter, but it is unclear how widespread the problem is. Although the reports are mostly from iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max users, it is possible that the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus are also affected.

What is the solution and when will it be available?

Apple has allegedly promised to address the problem with a software update later in the year. Given that the memo was released shortly after iOS 17.1 was introduced, it is probable that the solution will be delivered through a subsequent update, such as iOS 17.1.1 or iOS 17.2.

In the meantime, Apple advises affected customers to stop using in-car wireless charging and contact an Apple Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider for assistance. There is no way for customers to fix the problem themselves, so a trip to a service center is required.

Apple says technicians can attempt to restart the NFC chip in an affected iPhone by using a software tool part of Apple Service Toolkit 2. If this step does not resolve the issue, Apple advises technicians to initiate a hardware repair.

We reached out to BMW when the issue was first reported and we’re still waiting for an official response.

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