Apple will update the iPhone 12’s software in France, which is expected to reduce the smartphone’s radiation levels.
The country’s Minister of Digital Technologies, Jean-Noël Barro, announced that Apple will release a software update for users in the coming days following reports of elevated radiation levels.
Sales of the iPhone 12 were suspended in France after the regulator found excessive electromagnetic radiation. Apple has been asked to fix the problem.
The company said the update is only available to users in France, where it said there is a special testing protocol. The American technology giant assumed that the test, which showed increased radiation, was the result of such a test regime and “does not pose a threat to safety”.
Whether this will affect Apple’s plans for the iPhone 12 in other countries is currently unknown. Barro said that before the iPhone 12 is allowed to be sold again in the country, the Radio Frequency Regulatory Agency (ANFR) will test the new software to ensure its compliance.
The World Health Organization has previously tried to allay concerns about the radiation emitted by cell phones. Their website states that there is no evidence that the effects of low-intensity electromagnetic fields are harmful to humans.
In a statement sent to AFP, Apple said the detection of radiation in France “is related to a specific testing protocol used by French regulators and is not a safety issue.” The iPhone 12 is compliant with global radiation standards, but the company will release a software update for users in France to comply with the protocol used by French regulators,” Apple said.
Earlier, ANFR informed Apple that if the company is unable to fix the issue with a software update, it will have to recall all iPhone 12 phones sold in the country. The regulator has found that the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) of iPhone 12 exceeds the legal limit in France.
The iPhone 12 smartphone was first released in September 2020 and is still being sold worldwide. This week, Apple told the BBC that it will challenge ANFR’s request.
The company said it has provided the agency with the results of laboratory tests, both its own and conducted by third parties, which it said show that the device meets all regulatory requirements. But Jean-Noël Barro gave Apple a two-week deadline and said he believed the problem could become more significant because France has shared its findings with other regulators in the European Union (EU).
Regulators in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany announced Thursday that they are also looking into the issue. Germany’s BNetzA told the BBC that the French investigation could lead to measures that would apply to all EU member states.
The United Kingdom and the United States have not announced any actions following the suspension of iPhone 12 sales in France.