Apple to issue iPhone 12 software update in France to address radiation concerns

Apple says it will release a software update for iPhone 12 owners in France, after regulators ordered a halt of sales of the phone over concerns the device was breaching strict radiation exposure limits.

“We will issue a software update for users in France to accommodate the protocol used by French regulators,” says Apple in a statement to Reuters. “We look forward to iPhone 12 continuing to be available in France.”

French regulators ordered a ban of iPhone 12 models earlier this week after testing the handset and finding that its Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) — how much radio frequency is absorbed into a body from a device — exceeded European radiation exposure limits. Belgium said it would review the French findings, with Germany, Italy, and more countries saying they’d be monitoring the situation.

The iPhone 12 first went on sale in late 2020, but France’s ANFR regulator has been carrying out tests on more than 140 phones recently to ensure radiation standards are being adhered to.

Apple has dismissed the claims and says “this is related to a specific testing protocol used by French regulators and not a safety concern” with the iPhone 12 itself. “The ANFR is preparing to quickly test this update,” says Jean Noel Barrot, France’s digital affairs minister, in a statement to Reuters.

The concerns over iPhone 12 radiation levels and a French sales ban emerged on the same day that Apple announced its new iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro handsets that are due to launch on September 22nd.

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