BMW wireless charging is reportedly breaking the iPhone 15's NFC chip

The iPhone 15 from the front and back
(Image credit: Apple)

Some iPhone 15 owners have found that the wireless charging pads found in BMW vehicles could be causing NFC chip faults and eventual failure, according to a new report.

The issue, which was originally reported by MacRumors after it surfaced on its own forums and via a number of unhappy X (formerly Twitter) users, has seen some BMW owners report catastrophic failure of iPhone 15's NFC chip after placing it on wireless charging pads found in a number of BMW vehicles, including the X5.

So far, this has been limited to BMW owners, but it could be a potential issue with any wireless surface, as Apple is yet to find a cause of the problem. 

Users have reported receiving a "Could Not Set Up Apple Pay" error message in the Wallet app, with the only fix being a replacement phone, as Apple confirmed the NFC chip actually failed in certain cases, according to MacRumors.

At time of writing, the main models affected have been the titanium iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max with the latest A17 Pro chip. But some users have reported the standard iPhone 15 and 15 Plus could also potentially face the same problems when wirelessly charged via BMW’s surface charging facility.

Play it safe

A wireless charging tray in a BMW charging an iPhone

(Image credit: BMW)

Apple and BMW have both yet to release a statement clearing up the issue, but the failure of the NFC (Near-field Communication) chip on an iPhones can result in users not being able to use Apple Pay, cards or tickets saved in Apple Wallet, and even a vehicle's digital car key.

The news follows further reports from iPhone 15 Pro owners that their devices have been getting unusually hot

Apple has admitted there is an issue, citing "increased background activity during the first few days after setup", an "unspecified bug in iOS 17 that’s impacting some users", and certain third-party apps that are "overloading the system" as potential problems.

The good news is Apple is readying a software update that should solve the problem. But for now, it’s probably a good idea to avoid charging your new iPhone via BMW's wireless technology until the reported issue is resolved.

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Leon Poultney

Leon has been navigating a world where automotive and tech collide for almost 20 years, reporting on everything from in-car entertainment to robotised manufacturing plants. Currently, EVs are the focus of his attentions, but give it a few years and it will be electric vertical take-off and landing craft. Outside of work hours, he can be found tinkering with distinctly analogue motorcycles, because electric motors are no replacement for an old Honda inline four.