I have an iPhone XR (fully up-to-date on iOS 16) and an Anker Wireless Charger.

Twice now while the phone was sitting on the charging base I have seen the screen come on and begin scrolling down the phone, then other movements happen; it looks like someone is controlling the phone remotely, but is this even possible via a charging base? I am an IT Professional and so am not ignorant of this sort of thing and (to my knowledge) there is no way to control an iPhone remotely other than "Switch Control" and that is disabled (Settings > Accessibility > Switch Control).

I just noticed the Apple Watch charger is beside it; could that be the culprit here? Perhaps the wireless charging base is just malfunctioning?

1 Answer 1


That’s a Qi charger; it has no software/firmware embedded. Additionally, there is no data transfer over the wireless charging. Yes, there is power negotiation, but your phone cannot receive data nor send data over the charging coils.

it looks like someone is controlling the phone remotely

There is an easy way to test this: put your phone in Airplane Mode prior to placing it on the charging base. Since the base has no way to communicate to the outside world, any scrolling you now observe will be local meaning it’s not being remotely controlled.

What could it be?

Remember, your screen is capacitive meaning a slight electrical field could cause your screen to respond (though very, very unlikely). Your Apple Watch, if unlocked, can unlock an iPhone in proximity; move your Apple Watch to verify. Also move the charger to verify it’s not interfering.

Finally, the behavior you’re seeing is not “hacking.” Hackers don’t do what they do to scroll your screen. They plant apps and malware to steal your data or use your devices as an attack vector. Scrolling screens is a waste of time and alerts you to their presence; the last thing a hacker wants.

  • Fantastic info, thank you Allan! Dec 20, 2022 at 22:02

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