BMW's wireless charging can destroy your iPhone 15

Yet another bug is affecting iPhone 15 owners, and this is a really odd one.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor
iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus on table
June Wan/ZDNET

The iPhone 15 launch has been a rocky road, plagued by overheating issues and a bizarre USB-C charging bug.

But these are small issues compared to a newly surfaced problem -- because this problem can destroy a brand-new iPhone 15 handset.

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Yes, this seems to be a destructive bug.

So what's happening?

BMW owners who are using their car's built-in wireless charging feature are reporting on X and the MacRumors forum that using this to charge their new iPhone 15 handsets causes the NFC chip to stop working.

Affected users see a "Could Not Set Up Apple Pay" error message in the Wallet app, and rebooting or resetting the iPhone doesn't fix the problem. 

This, in turn, causes the iPhone to temporarily go into recovery mode.

What's causing the problem?

It would seem that the BMW wireless charge is somehow damaging the NFC chip which controls features such as Apple Pay, and digital car keys. 

Whether this is a BMW problem or an Apple problem remains to be seen.

The "temporary" solution

The fix is a new iPhone. Yes, this issue appears to be destructive.  

According to some customers, Apple said the issue impacted the NFC chip, and the company furnished a replacement iPhone. However, this has to be a very temporary fix because the replacement handsets are just as vulnerable to being fried if put on charge in the car, with users reporting that they've fried several iPhones.

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Which iPhones are affected?

This issue appears to be limited to the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max handsets, although it is possible that the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus handsets are also affected, so I'd urge all users to be cautious.

Which BMWs are causing this issue?

We don't know. At this point, assume that any BMW wireless charging could break your iPhone 15.

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