Apple announced on Friday that it would deliver a software update to iPhone 12 users in France to settle a dispute with authorities who had ordered the phone’s sale to be halted owing to violations of radiation exposure restrictions.
The French government applauded the initiative and stated that the software upgrade would be tested quickly, allowing sales of the relatively old model, which was introduced in 2020, to resume.
Belgium, which stated on Thursday that it would investigate potential health hazards associated with the iPhone 12 in the aftermath of the French ban, applauded the move but said it would continue its own investigation of the phone and other models.
Over the last two decades, researchers have conducted a large number of studies to analyze the health dangers of mobile phones. According to the World Health Organization, no harmful health impacts have been linked to them.
We will make a software update available to French users in order to comply with their protocol. “We are pleased that the iPhone 12 will remain available in France,” Apple said in a statement.
Apple, on the other hand, has continued to challenge the French radiation findings, claiming that the iPhone has been approved as consistent with worldwide standards by various international authorities.
The company explained that this has to do with a particular testing procedure that French regulators use and is not a safety issue.
French Digital Affairs Minister Jean Noel Barrot, who has been in regular communication with Apple in recent days, has welcomed the software update.
“The ANFR (French regulator) is preparing to quickly test this update,” his ministry said in a statement, adding that this should bring the model up to European standards and allow France to lift the sales ban.
Apple releases software upgrades for its phones and computers on a regular basis, usually to address a security risk. They may be targeted at a specific model or location, and Apple may release such upgrades several times per month.
The Agence Nationale des Frequences (ANFR) announced on Tuesday that the iPhone 12’s Specific Absorption Rate (SAR), a measure of the rate of radiofrequency energy absorbed by the body from a piece of equipment, was greater than legally permitted, resulting in the sale suspension.
According to industry experts, there are no safety concerns because regulatory limitations based on the risk of burns or heatstroke from the phone’s radiation were set much below levels where scientists have found evidence of harm.
“Ultimately, I suspect the whole incident will be quickly forgotten,” said Ben Wood, chief analyst at CCS Insight, pointing out that the iPhone 12 is a device from a previous generation.
Apple released the iPhone 15 on Tuesday, and the iPhone 12 is no longer available for purchase directly from Apple. It can, however, be purchased via third-party vendors with inventory or traded in for old phones.
A potential recall, which France had threatened if Apple refused to execute a software update, would have been a bigger issue than the sale suspension.
Last year, Apple’s revenues in Europe totaled almost $95 billion, ranking the area second only to the Americas. According to some estimates, Apple sold more than 50 million iPhones in Europe last year.
The corporation in the United States does not break down its sales by country or model.