Major Australian retailer Officeworks has temporarily stopped selling AirTags in the country due to child safety concerns.
The AirTag feature a removable CR2032 battery, which Apple claims is good enough to last for a year. The battery can be easily removed by pushing down and twisting the metallic backplate of the AirTag. This easy removal of the battery has caused concerns about the AirTags not being safe for children. Apart from AirTags, Officeworks has also temporarily stopped selling all AirTag-related accessories.
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Officeworks confirmed the removal of AirTags from its shelves in an email to Gizmodo. The retailer is now waiting for guidance from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) about this matter. The retailer confirmed that it is in touch with Apple over these safety concerns.
The Apple Air Tag range will temporarily be unavailable for purchase from Officeworks. The product will not be stocked by Officeworks until further guidance is provided from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
Apple also issued a statement regarding the matter:
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.
The ACCC also confirmed to Gizmodo and acknowledged the safety concerns raised “about the accessibility of button batteries in the Apple AirTag product.” Children swallowing batteries are a big issue in Australia, with reportedly 20 children taken to the emergency departments in hospital almost every week.
Australia has also introduced a new information standard that requires warning symbols on product packaging and important information about button cell batteries in product instructions. These new regulations are set to come into effect on June 21, 2022.
So far, Officeworks is the only major retailer to have stopped selling the AirTags. Other retailers like Big W and Apple’s own online store continue to sell the $29 tracking tag.