phones and magnets

Magnets and Phones: Are Magnets Bad for Phones?

We’re getting back to the basics and explaining why our magnetic products will not damage your phone (guaranteed!).

The age of magnet-anxiety around small electronics is over. Instead, magnetic capability is now a core feature of new smartphones along with their wireless chargers and magnetic accessories. While magnets were the old enemy of outdated tech like CRT televisions and floppy disks, they won’t interfere with most modern electronic devices.

Even so, it’s still somewhat common to receive questions about the true safety of a cell phone magnet. And that’s totally understandable— purchasing a smartphone is a big investment, and protecting that investment should be a top priority. In this blog, we’re getting back to the basics. Keep reading to learn about the components inside your precious device, its magnet technology, and the advantages of ROKFORM magnetic accessories— that won't damage your phone.

magnets and phones

We get it; time is precious, so we'll cut to the chase! Are magnets bad for phones? No, magnets and phones have become much friendlier over the years - but they used to be harmful to older electronics. In this day and age, we've advanced far beyond those floppy disks and first-generation iPods. At Rokform, we're super pro magnets, and for good reason. Magnets in our cases are so tough you can prop your phone up onto any magnetic surface, which comes in handy! So we had to ensure that our magnets don't harm our smartphones - and that's exactly what we set out to do. As pioneers in the industry, we had to overcome many challenges to provide safe magnetic accessories for phones. Not only were we successful, but we're now proud distributors of some of the most rugged Apple cases and Samsung phone cases .

Have we piqued your interest? Take some time to read through our comprehensive dive into the world of magnets and smartphones below!

Quick Facts

Not every magnetic phone accessory is green-lit. You have to choose products that take the relationship between magnets and phones seriously. Like ours. So, are magnets in phones and phone accessories dangerous? Not in the way you might think. Are magnetic phone cases safe? Most are - especially those under our belt. We're going to cover all this in more detail below - and walk you through how to use a cell phone magnet wisely, by choosing the right products that have been tried and tested.


If you're looking to understand the relationship between magnets and phones, the first step is to break down how magnetic fields work. A magnetic field is that tension you feel when a pair of magnets either pull away from or pull towards each other. We all learned how north and south poles of magnets work together in grade school - opposites attract, and like poles repel. This invisible force can have an impact on external objects - think Earth's magnetic field. Now onto the other side of the coin, our smartphones consist of a CPU, GPU, RAM, storage, a battery, LCD or OLED display, and sensors like a GPS, accelerometer, and compass. So, how does the magnetic field in magnets affect these components? Is it even strong enough to make an impact? And what's the difference between magnets in phones and those outside of our phones, like in accessories?

We're diving into this topic because it matters. You put down a good chunk of money for your phone - and if your accessory is hurting its life-span, that's a topic worth discussing. We'll start by outlining the main principles of magnets and magnetism, then outline the different components of our smartphones in relation to those magnets, and finally, tie the two together with impact statements for each component. Let's get started!

magnets in phones

Magnets and Magnetism

It's important to know the differences in magnets which will shine a light on why some are ok to use with your phone.

Permanent Magnets: Always magnetized - like the ones on your fridge.

Electromagnets: Need an electric current to trigger the magnetic field.

Other definitions that will come in handy throughout our dive in:

Ferromagnetic Materials: Like iron, cobalt, and nickel that are strongly attracted to magnets. Typically, N52 Neodimium magnets are comprosed of these types of materials.

Non-Ferromagnetic Materials: All other materials that are unaffected by magnets.

Keep these terms in mind as we walk you through different phone components and magnets in phones and accessories.

Built-in Magnets in Phones

We've already determined that magnets in phones are a thing. For one, our speakers and mics have built-in magnets - a much-needed relationship to convert electric signals into sound and sound into electrical signals. Our phones also use magnetic fields in vibration motors as feedback mechanisms and magnetic sensors that act as your in-phone compass. Next, the beloved Qi wireless tech - what would we do without it? It uses magnetic induction to transfer power to your phone.

So, yeah, magnets in phones are useful—and nothing to be afraid of. The question on everybody's mind is: Are magnetic phone cases safe for your smartphone? Let's dig into that below.

External Magnets and Phones

Rokform mounts, cases, and other accessories that use magnets to provide efficiency and convenience. Who doesn't want to slap their phone onto the fridge while cooking? Or use a bike phone mount via magnetic tech with just one hand? These phone accessories have given us a freedom we can no longer live without.

And that's where the concerns start to come in - are these external magnets bad for phones?

The Dirty Details of Magnets and Phones: Are Magnets Bad For Phones?

The only thing that's going to happen if you put a Rokform magnetic case on your phone is providing you with ultimate functionality! ROKFORM’s magnet technology is safe to use with your smartphone and won’t interfere with its internal components or other important functions. Static magnetic fields won't harm your phone; they've just enriched our smartphone experience!

Are Neodymium Magnets Safe?

Yes! And they're some of the best and most durable magnets for phones. Our Neodymium magnets are some of the toughest on the market and don't affect your phone's performance. 

Neodymium magnets and phones

Your Smartphone’s Screen

Remember those old big screens that would hum when switched on? Those were televisions with cathode ray tube (CVT) technology, and they were susceptible to magnetic interference. They formed an image by deflecting a finely focused beam of electrons with magnetic fields. Thus, an external magnetic force interfered with the magnetic field, which was necessary to create an image. 

Are magnets bad for phones is an outdated question for new tech. Unlike older CRT technology, which relied on magnetic fields to form images by deflecting electron beams - modern screens, including those on phone screens, utilize LED displays and electricity to create images. Therefore, a magnet on a phone doesn't pose any danger. The idea that magnets can hurt your phone screen is a myth - no evidence suggests that LED/OLED screens are affected by magnets. Let's expand on what your screen is made of to better understand its relationship with magnets.

LCD Screens: LCD uses liquid crystals between two layers of polarizing materials. The light that passes through these crystals does so in response to electrical currents - not magnetic fields. So if you choose to take on a magnetic mount, the magnet has nothing to interfere with in your screen from the get-go.

OLED Screens: OLED tech also stems from electric operation, not magnets. Organic materials emit light when prompted with an electrical current. No magnets = no interference possible.

If you fell victim to this myth, don't worry—a lot of others did, too. But now you're armed with all the tech jargon you need to debunk anyone's concern about the effect of magnets on phone screens.

Your Smartphone’s Memory

Let's quickly address this with a quick 'no, your phone's memory won't be damaged by magnets.' It's really that simple and here's why:

Our modern phones use SSDs (Solid-State Drives) that use NAND memory. NAND memory stores data electronically, not magnetically. No magnets mean no possible interaction with external or even internal magnetic components.

If you're old enough to remember what floppy disks are ( neither), those ancient discs did store data magnetically - so do some older HDDs (Hard Disk Drives). Maybe that's where this myth came from? Who knows. Either way, the bottom line is there's no magnetic field used in storage; therefore, there is no chance that damage from magnets will threaten your phone's memory.

Your Smartphone's Battery

Do magnets affect batteries in your phone? This has by far been the most believed myth in the debate on magnets and phones. But guess what? We've got a quick debunk for this one, too.

Our modern cell phones use lithium-ion batteries. Lithium is part of the alkali metal group, which shares the property of being non-magnetic. These batteries work by sending a flow of positively charged lithium ions back and forth through the lithium salt electrolyte, from the anode to the cathode, effectively charging the phone.

So, at the risk of sounding like a broken record: no magnetic materials = no threat from magnets on phones or their battery. So go ahead and check out our motorcycle phone mounts or accessories you've been thinking about - your battery is safe.

Your Smartphone's Speaker

Ok, ok. This one is a tad more tricky because, yes - some phone microphones do contain magnetic components. So what does that mean? You'll have to replace your mic over time? Your mic won't work as it should?

Bzzzzzzt (That's that loud and obnoxious wrong answer buzzer sound effect - in case it didn't translate). Because no - your mic is safe, here's why:

Field Strength: Our magnets are some of the strongest on the market (ask any trucker using a Rokform case and mount - they'll swear by it being the first to hold still during their bumpy rides) - and even they aren't strong enough to alter your mics performance. Mount magnets have a job to do and that's to keep your phone from moving - that focus eliminates their need to exert a wide reaching magnetic field.

Distance & Shielding: Magnets on phones and mounts are strategically placed. Look at the location of magnets on your case - they're a good distance away from your mic where they also don't interact with other sensitive components. Knowing that you can rest easy that your accessory magnets and phones don't interact.

Smart Design: Magnets on phones—it's what we do. Our cases and mounts are designed in California, where all of this is considered during the creation phase. Likewise, smartphone companies like Apple and Samsung are well aware of the function magnets play in phone accessories and their popularity. So, they place components and design circuitry to minimize any effects from magnetic fields.

There you have it - magnets and phone speakers have learned to live harmoniously!

Are magnets bad for phones?

Your Smartphone's GPS & Compass

Here's the thing - your compass works by using a small magnetometer. And your GPS relies on satellite signals which rely on other sensors like your compass to work. So technically, there can be a slight interference, but again - this all depends on the location of your mount magnet. It doesn't stop there - your compass sensor itself is pretty sensitive to outside forces. Apple states that "The accuracy of the compass can be affected by magnetic or environmental interference; even the magnets in the iPhone EarPods can cause a deviation. Use the digital compass only for basic navigation assistance. Don’t rely on it to determine precise location, proximity, distance, or direction."

It's not exclusive to your mount or your case - these sensors pick up minor interferences that simply can't be ignored. So don't let that stop you from using accessories that make life oh, so simple. Plus, that interference is pretty difficult to recreate in our day-to-day. Thousands of magnet case and mount users use their GPS and compass everyday and as far as we know (via our excellent reviews) - there isn't a big concern on compass/GPS performance.

We go the extra mile in the designs of our mounts and cases to place magnets strategically away from areas that could disrupt your compass/GPS performance. Our N52 Neodymium magnets are some of the strongest on the market, and our customers have spoken—check out our reviews here.

So, Do Magnetic Phone Holders Damage iPhone or Samsung Components?

A resounding No! Just make sure you pick up phone holders from a company you trust, like ours. We've done extensive research and testing to ensure the magnets we use on our products are 100% safe for our modern phones. Read on to learn about our process from the CEO himself...

The Rokform Magnets and Phones Love Story

It was an endearing 'challenge accepted' moment for us. Starting with the question of whether magnets in phones is even plausible - we moved forward with resilience and curiosity. Our CEO, Jeff Whitten, describes our origins best:

"Our original idea was for our RokLock twist lock mechanism to automatically lock using the power of magnets. Unfortunately, we couldn't find a magnet that size powerful enough to twist and lock an iPhone. Then we thought, "What if we used magnets so we could attach our phones to anything magnetic, no mount required?" 

We found larger magnets and double-sided taped them to the back of an iPhone 4. Then, we stuck the prototype onto our metal file cabinet, and voila! It worked, except for one problem. When we put a smooth magnet onto another smooth surface (like a fridge or a filing cabinet), the phone would slowly slide down. This was mostly because there wasn't enough grip/friction -- the magnet had enough power to hold the phone but not enough grip to keep it in place.

To keep the phone from slipping down, we stuck some adhesive-backed rubber onto the magnet. The execution was crude, but it worked like magic! Now, when you stuck the phone onto a slick surface, it had the grip it needed to not only hold but hold amazingly well. Phones would stay on slick surfaces like a file cabinet and uneven ones like the corner bead of textured and painted drywall." 

Testing are magnets bad for phones

Introducing the Rokform V3 Case

We couldn't stop there. We're still constantly seeking new ways to push the bar and provide our customers with new tech for their phones. Jeff, again, tells the story like no other could:

"We had created a simple iPhone mount that would instantly and securely stick to anything magnetic. The magnet was so strong we decided to test its limits. We drove to our local Golf Club and stuck the phone to the golf cart rail right in plain view. The iPhone 4 did not budge even after 18 holes of golf! We drove over bumps, in the woods, and on uneven cart paths but it stayed strong. We mounted our new "magnetic" iPhones everywhere we could - the more we used them, the more addicted we became. We had to make this a reality for everyone.

We had proven our initial magnet would work, so we quickly got to work refining the design. We produced custom-made nickel plated Neodymium magnets along with a specially designed textured TPU (soft rubber) magnet grip insert to hold the magnet. The result was our first injection molded polycarbonate case, the Rokform v3, named for the 3rd case Rokform created in its short little life. The Rokform v3 case for the iPhone 4 with its magnetic insert was an instant success. Within weeks we had sold thousands of cases. Customers could not believe how useful having a magnet in an iPhone case was."

Jeff Whitten, CEO

Seamless MagSafe® Compatibility

ROKFORM’s latest phone cases have taken magnetic technology to the next level. Each magnetic phone case since the iPhone 13 series is rated MagSafe®-compatible to facilitate wireless charging, while its powerful magnets let you attach your phone to any magnetic surface for easy, hands-free use. Find the iPhone or Samsung case that matches your phone model and protect it from drops up to 6 feet!

Final Thoughts

It is what it is, folks - magnets and phones are the love story of the decade. Once you've experienced the convenience of car mounts, bike mounts, and motorcycle mounts - there's just no going back. Information is where you need it; you don't need your hands to use it, and you can focus fully on the road. Beyond that - strong magnetic cases like ours take hands-free to a whole new level. Think cooking in the kitchen, playing golf and recording your swing, recording your workout, anything you need your hands for and have a magnetic surface to prop up your phone.

All in all, magnets are safe for your phone and all its components. Check out our long list of phone accessories and start using your phone in ways you never thought you could. 

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