While it may take some time for users to replace their AirTag’s button cell battery, Apple has issued a warning against purchasing products with bitter coatings because they may not work with the device.
According to an Apple support document regarding AirTag battery replacement, users should avoid purchasing batteries with bitter coatings.
“CR2032 batteries with bitter coatings may not work with AirTag or other battery-powered products, depending on the alignment of the coating to the battery contacts,” Apple says in the paper, as noted by The loop.
The special treatment is used by some battery manufacturers to prevent children from swallowing small power sources. Bitters are non-toxic chemicals that smell or taste bitter and are commonly used to discourage the ingestion or inhalation of potentially dangerous products. The chemicals used by battery manufacturers react with saliva to create an unpleasant taste.
Apple released the support page days after Australia issued a consumer advisory urging parents to keep AirTag out of the reach of children because its easily accessible battery poses a choking hazard.
In the warning, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission cited the ease with which AirTag can be opened, revealing the small CR2032 battery. To open AirTag, users simply press down on the stainless steel battery cover, turn counterclockwise until it stops spinning, and lift it up.
The ACCC also said that closing the chassis of an AirTag does not always guarantee that the battery compartment is secure. Apple’s tracking device emits a tone when its cover contacts the battery, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the device is locked, the body said.
At least one Australian retailer has removed the product from its shelves citing the same concerns outlined by the ACCC.