iPhone 15s are breaking after wireless charging in BMWs — what we know

 IPhone 15 Pro shown in hand.
IPhone 15 Pro shown in hand.

If you’re the owner of an iPhone 15 and some kind of BMW, then you may want to avoid the car’s wireless charging pad for the time being. A number of owners have reported that the in-car wireless charger is breaking the NFC chip inside the iPhone 15.

Users have been reporting their problems over on Twitter/X and the MacRumors forum. Apparently using the BMW’s wireless charging pad causes the iPhone 15 to display a white screen and enter data recovery mode — after which the NFC chip is apparently non-functional.

The NFC chip is a pretty important part of any smartphone, especially an iPhone. It’s responsible for Apple Pay payments and digital car keys among things. Affected users are being met with an error message declaring that they “could not set up Apple Pay” with no apparent way to fix the problem.

Some users claim that they’ve been able to swap their iPhones for a replacement at the Apple Store — and for at least one affected customer Apple claimed that the NFC unit must have been bad. Unfortunately, the exact same thing appears to be happening to the replacements.

It’s not clear what the actual issue is, and why it’s only affecting iPhone 15s and BMW wireless charging pads. Multiple reports seem to note that this wasn’t an issue with iPhone 14 and iPhone 13 devices which suggests the problem is specific to the iPhone 15 itself.

It’s also unclear which BMW models are at fault, only that the common element is the wireless charging pad. That means BMW owners who have an iPhone 15, or those who intend to buy one soon, should avoid using the wireless charging pad at all costs for now. Not until the root issue can be identified, and either Apple or BMW issues thorough guidance on how they can wirelessly charge without breaking the phone.

In the meantime, if your phone does need to charge while you’re in the car, plug it into a USB port or an external battery pack

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