Child safety concerns have arisen over the replaceable battery found inside Apple’s new AirTag item tracker.
AirTags are powered by a standard replaceable CR2032 coin-cell battery that Apple says can power an AirTag for an entire year. The battery is easily replaced by pushing down and turning the AirTag’s backplate. This easy replacement process is what has led to child safety concerns over fears that a child could access the battery, posing a safety risk to the child.
As reported by Gizmodo, concerns are high enough to have caused major Australian retailer Officeworks to temporarily pull AirTags from its shelves. While the retailer hasn’t confirmed the reason the AirTags were pulled from shelves, Reddit users say an Officeworks representative confirmed the retailer’s concerns over child safety.
“Staff at the counter could see on their system that they had some in stock, and one staff member even remembered selling them on Friday, but they couldn’t find them today,” the user wrote in a post.
They went onto say that an Officeworks representative told them that the AirTags were removed due to safety concerns, specifically regarding how easy it is for the button-cell battery to be removed by a child.
In a statement furnished to Gizmodo, Apple confirmed that the battery replacement process is at the root of Officeworks’ decision to pull AirTags from its shelf temporarily.
“AirTag is designed to meet international child safety standards, including those in Australia, by requiring a two step push-and-turn mechanism to access the user-replaceable battery,” an Apple representative said in an email to Gizmodo Australia.
“We are following the regulations closely and are working to ensure that our products will meet or exceed new standards, including those for package labelling, well ahead of the timeline required.”
Officeworks says that AirTags will stay off its shelves until “further guidance is provided from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.”