MagSafe is a new feature that came with the newly released iPhone 12. It’s designed to quickly and safely wirelessly charge your iPhone.
One Reddit user has discovered that the magnets on the back of the iPhone 12 attract more than what they’re supposed to. As they pointed out in their Reddit title, “the sand in Tahoe is magnetic”. That got us thinking, how harmful could this be to your iPhone?
We all know that the iPhone 12 has several magnets located in different areas of the iPhone. The largest one makes up the MagSafe magnet, and there’s another one near the speakers and the camera. These magnets can attract ferromagnetic materials such as iron, steel, nickel, and cobalt.
Sand is known to consist of different materials depending on the location. However, the most common component is silicon dioxide, followed closely by calcium carbonate. Lake Tahoe contains pyrite and magnetite in its sand, meaning that it can easily stick to the back of an iPhone 12. If this type of sand gets into your phone, it can wreak havoc on the internal components.
Any sand is harmful to your phone because it can easily sneak into any nook and cranny (ports and buttons) and scratch the screen and the back of your phone. Even though Apple claims that iPhone 12 is water, splash, and dust resistant, this is not permanent and can decrease with normal wear and tear. So it’s better to be safe than sorry.
That being said, we’re confident that the iPhone will hold up well in most situations, but a more common side effect of this phenomenon may simply be the back of the case gets scratched and worn more easily. Ferrous sand is incredibly abrasive and if it’s held to the back of an iPhone case by magnets, could wreak havoc on the finish.
There’s a reason “sand-blasting” is a thing in the metal-making world!
So if you’re at the beach (near any type of sand), it’s best to be cautious and place your phone in a zip lock bag, watertight pouch, or a sand-proof case.