Apple iOS Update to Fix iPhone 12 Radiation Levels Approved by French Regulators

Apple has had its software update for iPhone 12 devices in France approved by regulators, after the country threatened to suspend sales of the phones earlier this month due to radiation levels (via Reuters).

purple iphone 12 and 12 mini
In early September, France ordered Apple to halt ‌‌iPhone‌‌ 12 sales and "fix" existing devices to bring them into electromagnetic radiation compliance with European standards. The increase in emitted electromagnetic radiation observed over time by regulators appears to have been the result of successive software updates issued by Apple, and was not present when the ‌‌iPhone‌‌ 12 was launched in 2020.

The ANFR ordered Apple to "remove the ‌‌‌iPhone‌‌ 12‌ from the French market from September 12 due to the model exceeding the limit" for electromagnetic absorption by the body. The agency also told Apple to recall every ‌‌‌iPhone‌‌ 12‌ it has ever sold in the country. Ministers later said that though the radiation level was above the accepted standard, it was not dangerous and people were safe to continue using the phones, local media reported.

Apple later said it would issue a software update for ‌iPhone‌ 12 users in France to address the radiation concerns. The French regulator ANFR responded by saying it would test the software update. If it made a difference to the electromagnetic waves the device emitted, ANFR said it would bring the model into compliance with European standards applied in France, and the marketing withdrawal order would be lifted.

Tag: France

Top Rated Comments

jonnysods Avatar
8 months ago
We call it “Low Emit”, and we think your cranium is going to love it.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Populus Avatar
8 months ago
Wait, wait… is this update is only available in France? So, people in other countries using their iPhone 12 will keep being exposed to higher levels? Unless the allowed radiation levels are abnormally low in France, I think this update should have been available to everyone else.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MathersMahmood Avatar
8 months ago
How does a software update fix radiation? Bit silly really. we may end up seeing performance throttling.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
FastLaneJB Avatar
8 months ago

How does a software update fix radiation? Bit silly really. we may end up seeing performance throttling.
They turn on the lower radiation feature flag ;)

Joking aside if this wasn't present at launch and was later found then at some point Apple's boosted the power of the radios probably to improve signal strength. That pushed them over the limit and now I guess they are going to dial it back down so French iPhone 12 users should expect worse signal.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jasonsmith_88 Avatar
8 months ago

How did this even get through? surely someone at Apple must have known this was coming and they could have pro-actively applied a software update and avoided all of this 'bad' publicity...

Despite the levels of radiation still being safe, there will be some people who will over react to this.
Apple probably didn’t believe that the French regulator would be so stupid as to measure the radiation from a closer distance (closer than the EU regulation specifies) while expecting the same amount of radiation. Of course, if you measure from a closer distance, you get a higher value. A child in kindergarten could predict the result of this basic science experiment. But the French doubled-down in their scaremongering campaign and I guess it would be worse for Apple if they don’t respond. But don’t be fooled. The iPhone is within spec according to all other EU nations, all other countries in the world, and independent testing. This is nothing more than the French government trying to drum up fear.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LV426 Avatar
8 months ago

How does a software update fix radiation? Bit silly really. we may end up seeing performance throttling.
In this context, radiation means electromagnetic radiation (radio). The strength of the radio transmitter can be controlled by the operating system. If, over the years, the control mechanism has upped the strength of the radio output, I can't say I'm entirely surprised that it went unmissed.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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