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