Magnets are [still] safe to use with your smartphone!
Rokform has been in the business of creating smartphone cases, mounts and accessories since 2011. Magnets have always been an important part of our story as a brand and integral to our products. With over ten years of experience and thousands of sales, we’ve shown that magnets are safe for use with your smartphone, even adding function and security in ways many never thought possible. When Apple announced MagSafe technology as a way to provide more consistent charging for iPhone owners, we rejoiced. It was just another validation that magnets can be used safely with smartphones and also provide benefits that other materials cannot.
Even so, it’s still somewhat common to receive questions about the true safety of magnets next to smartphones. We get it – purchasing a smartphone is a big investment, and protecting that investment should be a top priority. Today, we’re getting back to the basics. We are breaking down the components of our beloved smartphones, the magnet technology in our products, and explaining why our magnetic products are guaranteed to not damage your phone.
A brief history of Rokform and our obsession with magnets
There is no Rokform without magnets, and that’s been true since our very first smartphone case. We detail our origin story in our Magnets page. Here are the highlights:
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 side 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. 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 un-even 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. Every day we receive comments, e-mails, and testimonials from happy customers telling us how much they love their "magnetic" phone cases!
Will a magnet damage my smartphone?
The simple answer is no. But to help you understand why Rokform’s magnet technology is safe for use with your smartphone, let’s explore why for some of your phone’s key components.
No, a magnet will not damage your smartphone’s...screen
Remember those old big screens that would hum when working? They formed an image by deflecting a finely focused beam of electrons with magnetic fields. Thus, an external magnetic field interfered with the magnetic field, which was necessary to create an image. Today's phone screens use electricity to form an image and respond to interaction. Therefore a magnet does not pose any danger to a smartphone's screen.
No, a magnet will not damage your smartphone’s…memory
People are sometimes surprised to find out that a magnet has no negative effect on your phone’s storage or memory. And the reason why not is simple – your phone’s components are not magnetic. If they aren’t magnetic, they cannot be disturbed by magnets in your phone’s case.
Apple iPhone and Android devices use NAND flash memory, which are not affected by magnets. Since there is nothing magnetic in solid state or flash drives and they have no moving mechanical parts, mobile devices are immune to magnetic fields. They do not use magnets for storage; instead, they use integrated circuit assemblies as memory to store data. Rest assured, your phone and credit cards are safe with Rokform's magnetic (and extremely protective) cases.
No, a magnet will not damage your smartphone’s...battery
Smartphones use lithium-ion batteries. According to The Guardian:
Lithium-ion batteries found in most smartphones and electronics have a metal oxide cathode made of a cobalt, nickel, manganese or iron mix, a porous graphite anode that holds lithium ions within it and a lithium salt electrolyte.
Positively charged lithium ions travel through the electrolyte from the anode to the cathode driving electrons through the smartphone as required and back to the anode.
Since the materials for batteries are not magnetic, they are not affected by our magnets in any way.
No, a magnet will not damage your smartphone’s...speaker
While it is true that smartphone speakers use magnets, it is also true that the placement of the magnet on your Rokform case or mount will be located in a different place from your smartphone’s speakers. Your speakers will not be affected by the magnets.
No, a magnet will not damage your smartphone’s...compass or GPS
The electric compass in your phone uses sensors to identify your cardinal direction. These sensors can be affected by very strong magnetic fields (think industrial or laboratory-strength magnets). Our team conducts tons of tests prior to product launch to make sure our cases function properly with the rest of your smartphone, and this includes a compass test. Because of the location of our magnets vs the location of the compass sensors in your phone, we can say confidently that the compass works great with our Rokform cases and mounts.
GPS does not rely on the electric compass built into your phone. Instead, your GPS tool uses receivers and GPS satellites to triangulate your position. These are not affected by magnets next to your phone.
The Rokform Guarantee
So when you look at all the key components people usually worry about in their smartphones, you’ll see that they are magnet safe because, for the most part, they are magnet-free. The components that do still rely on small magnets, like speakers and the compass, won’t be affected by the neodymium magnets used in our products.
If you’re not a proud Rokform customer already, show your phone some love and give us a try. We know you will love the versatility, quality, protection and service. If for some reason you don’t, just send your product back within 60 days for a full refund. We also offer a 2-year guarantee and have our friendly customer service team at our Southern California headquarters ready to answer any questions you might have.
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