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Apple's AirTags raise child safety concerns over user removable batteries

The Apple AirTag has been removed from the shelves of Australia retailer Officeworks over child safety concerns. (Image: Apple)
The Apple AirTag has been removed from the shelves of Australia retailer Officeworks over child safety concerns. (Image: Apple)
Apple’s AirTag location trackers have been a long time coming but their launch isn’t going as smoothly as the company would like. Australian retailer Officeworks has pulled the product from its store shelves over child safety concerns that its user replaceable battery could be too easily removed.
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Apple’s AirTag location trackers have been long-rumored but only hit the market in the past week. They are Apple’s answer to the Tile location trackers and similar products from other companies including Samsung but leverage Apple’s vast network of iPhone users to work without cellular or GPS connectivity. Unusually, for a modern Apple product, they include user replaceable CR2032 coin-cell batteries.

It is the latter feature that has apparently raised alarm bells over child safety concerns for Australian retailer Officeworks which has removed the Apple AirTag from its retail shelves. CR2032 batteries (and similar so-called button batteries) are also typically found in watches and other small tech products and have caused numerous child deaths and serious injuries when inadvertently ingested. There has been no indication that any specific case has caused Officeworks to remove the AirTag trackers from sale, but rather it might not meet Australia’s safety requirements which are in the process of being toughened further.

After a local campaign by Australian consumer advocacy group Choice, the Australian Government is set to introduce legislation that requires warnings and child-resistant packaging among other requirements for products containing button batteries. To access the battery in an AirTag, a user must press down and twist the back plate, which is a two-step safety mechanism. For its part, Apple insists that the AirTag complies with global product safety requirements including Australia. Officeworks has said that it is waiting on further guidance from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Buy the Apple AirTag from Amazon.

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Sanjiv Sathiah
Sanjiv Sathiah - Senior Tech Writer - 1345 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2017
I have been writing about consumer technology over the past ten years, previously with the former MacNN and Electronista, and now Notebookcheck since 2017. My first computer was an Apple ][c and this sparked a passion for Apple, but also technology in general. In the past decade, I’ve become increasingly platform agnostic and love to get my hands on and explore as much technology as I can get my hand on. Whether it is Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Nintendo, Xbox, or PlayStation, each has plenty to offer and has given me great joy exploring them all. I was drawn to writing about tech because I love learning about the latest devices and also sharing whatever insights my experience can bring to the site and its readership.
contact me via: @t3mporarybl1p
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 05 > Apple's AirTag raises child safety concerns over user removable batteries
Sanjiv Sathiah, 2021-05- 4 (Update: 2021-05- 5)