TECH NEWS – Apple plans to release a software update for iPhone 12 users in France in the near future following concerns about electromagnetic radiation in the country, according to Jean-Noel Barrot, France’s Minister of Digital Affairs.
Sales of the iPhone 12 have been temporarily suspended in France after the radio frequency regulator, ANFR, found excessive levels of electromagnetic radiation on the device. Apple has been asked to fix the problem. The company has confirmed that the new update will only be available in the French market, where a special testing protocol is in place. Apple also claims that the high radiation levels are due to this protocol and do not pose a health risk.
The update plan raises some questions about Apple’s future moves with the iPhone 12, which has only been on the market for three years. Barrot said that ANFR will verify the effectiveness of the upgrade with tests before the iPhone 12 is available again in the country. The World Health Organization (WHO) has previously sought to allay concerns about electromagnetic radiation, stating on its website that there is no evidence of harmful effects from low levels of radiation.
In a statement to the AFP news agency, Apple said the radiation results in France were related to the testing protocol there and did not pose a safety risk. ANFR previously warned the company that all iPhone 12s in France would be recalled if it failed to fix the problem with software. ANFR found that the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) of the iPhone 12 exceeds the limit set by French law.
The iPhone 12 smartphone was released in September 2020 and is still available worldwide. The company said it has provided ANFR with the results of tests conducted by its independent laboratories, confirming that the device complies with all relevant regulations.
Jean-Noel Barrot gave Apple a two-year deadline, and suggested that the case could have a “snowball effect” as France shares the results with other EU regulators. Authorities in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany have also said they will investigate the case. Germany’s BNetzA told the BBC that the French investigation could lead to action at the European level.
The UK and US have so far taken no action following the French decision.