Apple to update iPhone 12 software over radiation dispute in France

Apple will update the software on iPhone 12 in France to resolve radiation concerns, according to Reuters. Previously, Belgium and other European nations had expressed interest in examining potential health risks linked to Apple’s iPhone 12. France had already stopped selling the model due to radiation exposure limits violations.

In response, Apple announced plans to release a software update for iPhone 12 users in France, addressing the regulatory suspension. The French government welcomed this move, expressing confidence that it would allow sales of the 2020 model to resume. Studies over the past 20 years have found no confirmed health risks associated with mobile phones, according to the World Health Organization.

Apple clarified that the update aims to align with French regulatory protocols, not due to safety concerns. Apple reiterated that the iPhone met global standards as certified by multiple international bodies. French Digital Affairs Minister Jean Noel Barrot also endorsed the software update.

The French regulator, Agence Nationale des Frequences (ANFR), plans to promptly test the update, bringing it in line with European standards and lifting the sales suspension in France.

ANFR had identified a higher Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) for iPhone 12, a measure of radiofrequency energy absorbed by the body. However, experts have stated that this doesn’t pose safety risks, as the regulatory limits are set well below levels where harm has been proven.

Ben Wood, chief analyst at CCS Insight, believes the incident will likely be forgotten quickly, especially since the iPhone 12 is an older model. A more significant issue would have been a potential recall if Apple had not initiated the software update.

Apple, having unveiled the iPhone 15 series this week, achieved European revenues surpassing $95 billion last year, establishing it as its second-largest market after the U.S. Approximately 50 million iPhones were sold in Europe during that period. Notably, Apple keeps its sales data confidential regarding specific countries and models.