Apple to Release Software Update Addressing iPhone 12 Radiation Concerns Raised by French Regulators

Apple to Release Software Update Addressing iPhone 12 Radiation Concerns Raised by French Regulators

Apple Responds to Allegations of Excessive Radiation Levels in iPhone 12, Awaits French Regulator's Approval for Software Patch

Apple is gearing up to release a software update in response to allegations raised by French regulators regarding radiation levels in the three-year-old iPhone 12. French authorities, acting on recommendations from the country’s radiation watchdog, ANFR (Agence nationale des fréquences), had temporarily halted the sale of the smartphones amid concerns that they exceeded permissible radiation levels. Cupertino, however, denies these allegations and points to what it perceives as discrepancies in France’s testing protocols, according to reports by Reuters.

Apple’s Stance and Regulatory Response

Apple has emphasized that this issue does not constitute a safety concern and has underscored that the iPhone 12 was certified as compliant with global radiation standards by multiple international bodies. The forthcoming software update, while not designed to adjust radiation levels (as that would require hardware modifications), aims to align the iPhone 12 with the specific testing protocol employed by French regulators. Apple expresses optimism that this software patch will facilitate the iPhone 12’s compliance with future radiation tests, and it looks forward to the device continuing to be available in France.

The crux of the matter lies in France’s adjustment of its regulations in 2020. The changes introduced considerations for extremities, such as hands, in radiation level testing. This involved evaluating the rate of radio-frequency energy absorbed by the body, as measured by a metric known as the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR). During recent SAR tests conducted in France, regulators observed that the iPhone 12 exceeded permissible levels of energy absorption when held in hand, despite passing the test when assessing the head and body.

Support from Belgium, Denmark, and Experts

In contrast to France’s stance, Belgium and Denmark have expressed confidence in Apple’s devices. Mathieu Michel, the Belgian minister for digitalization, described local tests as “reassuring” and recommended against suspending iPhone 12 sales. Denmark’s Safety Authority similarly voiced no concerns regarding radiation levels in iPhone 12s. Industry experts have weighed in, asserting that the findings do not indicate any risk of burns or heatstroke resulting from the phone’s radiation emissions.

France has indicated that it considers Apple’s forthcoming software update a suitable remedy to the situation. The French regulator plans to resume testing once the update is made available, as outlined in a press release discovered by TechCrunch. Given Apple’s regular release of software updates for its iPhones, the solution should be accessible in the near future. In the meantime, the tech giant is shifting its focus from the three-year-old iPhone 12 to its latest offering, the iPhone 15.