Apple to Roll out Software Update in France to Address iPhone 12 Radiation Concerns -- 2nd Update
By Mauro Orru
Apple is planning a software update for users of its iPhone 12
model in France, after the country's radiation watchdog said the
handset emits electromagnetic waves above European limits and
threatened a recall if the tech giant doesn't address its
France's National Frequencies Agency said earlier this week that
an analysis found the specific absorption rate--a measure of the
rate of radio frequency energy absorbed by the human body--stood at
5.74 watts a kilogram when the iPhone 12 is held by hand or kept in
a pocket, above a regulatory limit of 4 watts a kilogram.
The agency said it had observed the higher emissions in the base
model of the iPhone 12, meaning that the iPhone 12 mini or the Pro
lineup aren't affected.
The watchdog said Apple should take steps to ensure that iPhones
already in the supply chain don't make their way to customers,
while handsets that were already sold should receive a software
update if possible. "Otherwise, Apple will have to recall the
equipment," it said.
"We will issue a software update for users in France to
accommodate the protocol used by French regulators. We look forward
to iPhone 12 continuing to be available in France," an Apple
spokesperson said Friday.
Apple released the iPhone 12 in 2020, meaning the device is
already in the hands of millions of customers worldwide, including
in France. However, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company unveiled
its new iPhone 15 lineup on Tuesday and discontinued direct sales
of some older models--including the iPhone 12--from its website as
part of a strategy aimed at wringing more money out of its newer,
Still, some third-party resellers could have the iPhone 12 in
stock and the agency said it had instructed officers to make sure
that the model would no longer be offered for sale in France until
Apple addressed its concerns.
"This is related to a specific testing protocol used by French
regulators and not a safety concern. Since it was introduced in
2020, iPhone 12 has been certified and recognized as meeting or
exceeding all applicable [specific absorption rate] regulations and
standards around the world," the Apple spokesperson said.
France's scrutiny of the iPhone 12 prompted agencies and
regulators in other European countries to keep an eye on the
The Belgian Institute for Postal Services and
Telecommunications, the federal regulatory body responsible for
regulating the electronic communications market in Belgium, said it
is maintaining close contact with its French counterpart.
"For the time being, we await Apple's corrective measures, as
demanded by the French authorities," a spokeswoman said.
The Dutch Authority for Digital Infrastructure, or RDI, part of
the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, also made
contact with the French regulator. "Now that the iPhone 12 exceeds
a standard according to the French regulator, there is also reason
for the RDI in the Netherlands to address the manufacturer about
this. It is up to the RDI to then determine how to proceed or not,"
a government spokesman said.
In the U.K., the Office for Product Safety and Standards is
monitoring the situation in France, but there are no plans to
launch an investigation at this time.
Write to Mauro Orru at email@example.com; @MauroOrru94
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
September 15, 2023 11:10 ET (15:10 GMT)
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