Will Magnetic Accessories Affect Your Smartphone?

12 October 2017

Will Magnetic Accessories Affect Your Smartphone?

This question can be best approached by examining how magnets affect smartphones. This effect, as we’ll find out later, depends on the strength of the magnet. It’s also important to know what parts of the smartphone are affected by magnetic fields and to what extent do magnetic fields damage these parts.

It’s perfectly understandable that our past experiences affect our judgment of present situations. And these judgments are justifiable.

In the past, you could bring a magnet close to a cathode ray tube (CRT) television or monitor, and you could witness a picture being distorted or warped. Magnets have little effects, if any, on smart electronic devices, including televisions and smartphones. As one expert rightly puts it,

What’s the Effect of Magnets on Smartphones?

Magnets have no noticeable effects on smartphones. However, this does not mean that they’ve no effect at all. Indeed, they have. Besides, some smartphones have several tiny magnets, which serve important functions. For example, Apple iPhone’s charging pad utilizes fluctuating magnetic fields around it to charge the smartphone wirelessly.

Above: iPhone 6 accessory

Magnetic accessories are made up of magnets and magnetic materials. Iron, cobalt, nickel and their alloys are magnetic materials. These substances can involuntarily rub against your smartphone, invoking magnetic fields around the smartphone. The effects of these fields on your smartphone can worsen if the magnetic fields keep changing.

You’re likely to notice that the three-axis magnetometer and the digital compass of your smartphone malfunction fleetingly. Evidence indicates that a magnet can affect the internal sensors of a smartphone, which operate on Hall Effect to give cardinal directions.

The experimenters found out that bringing a magnet or a magnetic material closer to a smartphone causes a realignment of magnetic domains inside the phone and thus affecting the compass readings.

This effect worsens if the strength of the magnet is increased. Thus, a strong magnet can magnetize the parts of smartphone made of magnetic materials, causing them to behave like weak magnets. Strong magnetic fields interfere with compass calibration.

If you want to find out, install a compass application, like Google Maps, for instance, which determine the orientation of your phone. You’ll also realize that a strong magnet affects apps that rely on the compass app.

It’s for this reason that, “Apple recommends avoiding the use of magnets and metal components in cases.”

Can Magnets Wipe Phone Memory Off?

It’s possible as long as the data stored in your smartphone’s memory was recorded magnetically. Magnets can corrupt outdated technology such as floppy hard drives, cassettes, credit cards and VHS. However, you’ll need a super-gigantic magnet with a significantly stronger magnetic field to corrupt a memory theoretically.

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