In context: Charging your phone in your car is a convenience that has advanced rapidly. It wasn't long ago that I had to keep a charging cable in my 2017 Toyota Corolla for long trips. My 2022 Subaru Legacy now has wireless charging, and I love it. I just slip my iPhone into the small open compartment on the dash, and it charges while I drive.
Unfortunately, not all in-car wireless chargers are created equal. If you just bought an iPhone 15, avoid using BMW's built-in smartphone pad. Reports have come in that it can fry the phone's NFC chip. Over the past week on MacRumors Forums and X (formerly Twitter), users have reported that Apple Pay ceased functioning after charging their iPhone 15 on the BMW charging pad.
The issue manifests with the phone going into data recovery mode, rebooting, and presenting a "Could not set up Apple Pay" message. Some users report that Apple confirmed that the NFC chip was no longer functioning and had to replace the entire phone since it is an unremovable component. It is unclear if a software patch could prevent the problem.
BMW wireless charging ï¿½- iPhone 15 Pro complaints keep rolling in pic.twitter.com/PTe3ZD0t4K– Joe Rossignol (@rsgnl) October 2, 2023
Although all the complaints have come primarily from iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max users, the issue could extend to the standard and iPhone 15 Plus models. So, until Apple or BMW figure out what is happening and fix the underlying cause, avoid charging your new iPhone with this method. There is no evidence that the problem occurs with older iPhones. However, it may also manifest in cars that use BMW parts, such as the Toyota Supra, one owner claims.
Apple's latest flagship has gotten off to a rough start, particularly with the iPhone Pro and Pro Max models. Shortly after launch, users began reporting that the phones were getting very hot while charging – almost "too hot to touch," with temperatures as high as 48C.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said the issue was related to the phone's new thermal design, not its powerful SoC. Apple knows of the situation and will issue a patch soon to curb the overheating without throttling performance.
It's peculiar that both problems are related to the iPhone 15's charging system. It would be interesting to see if patching one problem fixes the other.