Apple’s new AirTags elated many consumers when it became the company’s first-ever product with a truly user-replaceable battery. but while the small device uses a standard CR2032 battery, its AirTag battery replacement support document now warns users against using CR2032 batteries with bitterants as they might cause the battery to not work.
“CR2032 batteries with bitterant coatings might not work with AirTag or other battery-powered products, depending on the alignment of the coating in relation to the battery contacts,” says Apple.
The issue might occur depending on the alignment of the coating, which might interfere with the contact points. Duracell, a prominent battery manufacturer that coats their coin-shaped products with a layer of bitterant, says that hundreds of lithium coin batteries are accidentally ingested each year by children. Their non-toxic Bitrex coating acts as a deterrent against toddlers swallowing them.
The tracker seems to have courted some controversy in Australia as retailers and consumers worry about the easy access to its battery around children. Some retailers have gone as far as pulling AirTags off the shelves. There have been no reports so far of any such incidents but as a precaution, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission urged parents to keep the device out of children’s reach. Apple has defended itself by saying that the two-step push-and-turn mechanism meets international child safety standards.