Apple is prepping a software update to address alleged radiation concerns regarding the three-year-old iPhone 12s after French regulators alleged that the phone exceeds proper radiation levels. France stopped selling the smartphones after recommendations from the country’s radiation watchdog (ANFR), but Cupertino denies the allegations and seems to place the onus on the European nation’s testing protocols,
To that end, Apple has reiterated that this isn’t a safety concern and notes that the phone was certified by multiple international bodies as compliant with global radiation standards. The software update won’t adjust radiation levels, as that would be a hardware issue, but it will “accommodate the protocol used by French regulators.” So it looks like Apple thinks the software patch will be enough to allow the iPhone 12s to sail through future radiation tests, saying it looks forward “to the iPhone 12 continuing to be available in France.”
France did change its regulations back in 2020. It added consideration for extremities, like hands, when testing for radiation levels and the rate of radio-frequency energy absorbed by the body by using a particular piece of equipment. This is called the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR.) During the country’s recently-instituted SAR tests, regulators found that the iPhone 12s exceeded normal levels of energy absorption when holding the phone, despite acing the test when considering the head and body.
Belgium and Denmark have both come to Apple’s aid here, with Belgian minister for digitalization, Mathieu Michel, saying that local tests were “reassuring” and recommending against a suspension on sales. Denmark’s Safety Authority followed suit, suggesting it had no concerns regarding iPhone 12s radiation levels. Industry experts have also weighed in, stating that the findings indicated no risk of burns or heatstroke emanating from the phone’s radiation.
France says Apple’s software fix should be adequate and that they’ll resume testing as soon as it arrives, which was spelled out in a Apple regularly drops software updates for its iPhones, so it should show up in the near future. In the meantime, the company’s focusing its energy away from the three-year-old iPhone 12 and onto