Earlier this month, we reported that some wireless charging docks found in current BMW vehicles were interfering with the NFC chip embedded in the iPhone 15. And now according to an internal memo picked up by MacRumors, Apple has acknowledged that the issue is affecting a "small number" of wireless BMW chargers.
After charging via the BMW wireless system, some users found they received a "Could Not Set Up Apple Pay" error message in the Wallet app, with the only fix being a replacement phone. Other users on Apple's forums even reported that the wireless charging pads were leading to catastrophic failure of the chips in some phones.
The issue subsequently renders the NFC chip redundant, meaning users can’t take advantage of Apple Pay or use certain tickets and cards stored in Apple Wallet. It can also leave the iPhone 15 unable to access BMW's digital car keys, which is another big issue if that's the method you use to unlock your car.
The Apple internal memo to third-party repair providers, picked up by MacRumors, states that a software update coming later this year should prevent a "small number" of in-car wireless chargers from "temporarily" disabling iPhone 15 NFC chips.
Apple has yet to officially reveal what may be causing the issue. But several posts on X, formerly Twitter, by BMW UK in reply to customer complaints on the matter suggest that BMW is working with Apple to try and resolve the issue. The automotive giant has at least acknowledged there is a problem, but also says "we can't offer a timeframe" for a resolution. It adds that "we hope to get an update soon".
We reached out to BMW for comment on the matter, but our contact was only prepared to say that "this remains under investigation together with Apple".
BMW owner? Best avoid wireless charging for now
According to MacRumors, the issue could affect iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, or iPhone 15 Pro Max with a "small number" of wireless phone chargers built into certain recent BMW and Toyota Supra models, with the latter model sharing wireless technology with BMW.
So far, Apple has advised any affected customers to stop using the wireless charing tray found in some BMW models and the aforementioned Toyota Supra.
Although customers had previously stated that a replacement phone was the only fix, some X users and those operating on the MacRumors forums have suggested that technicians can attempt to restart the NFC chip in an affected iPhone by using a software tool that's part of Apple Service Toolkit 2.
If that fails, a hardware repair is apparently required, which means it's another problem to add to the longer-than-usual list of reported issues for the iPhone 15 series.
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