Apple on Friday promised to update the software on iPhone 12s in France to fix a dispute over radiation levels, but concerns in other European countries indicated it may have to take similar action elsewhere. can
France suspended sales this week. iPhone 12 handsets After tests that said radiation exposure limits were found to be in violation.
Apple contested the findings, saying the iPhone 12 has been certified to global standards by a number of international bodies, but said on Friday that it would use a software to adjust the testing methods used in France. Ware will issue an update.
Researchers have conducted many studies over the past two decades to assess the health risks of mobile phones. According to the World Health Organization, they have not caused any adverse health effects.
But the radiation warning in France, based on test results that differed from those in other countries, has sparked concern across Europe.
Belgium’s secretary of state for digitalization said it has asked Apple to upgrade the iPhone 12 software in EU countries, although it said the Belgian regulator’s preliminary assessment of the handset’s users would be There is no danger.
Germany said it was in contact with French authorities to find an EU-wide solution, while Italy would ask Apple to upgrade the software on iPhone 12s there, according to an official source in Rome. .
However, any requests from Apple or separate decisions by Italian authorities would come only after the French investigation is concluded, another Italian government source said.
The Dutch Authority for Digital Infrastructure said it was conducting its own investigation in two weeks and was in contact with Apple as well as German and French authorities. The agency said it has received calls from concerned consumers.
The French government welcomed Apple’s software update, saying it would be tested quickly and should allow sales of the relatively old iPhone 12 model to be launched in 2020 to resume.
“We will release a software update for customers in France to accommodate the protocol used by French regulators. We look forward to iPhone 12 being available in France,” Apple said in a statement.
“This is related to the specific testing protocol used by French regulators and not a safety concern,” he said.
Apple routinely provides software updates for its phones and computers, mostly to fix security issues. They can be focused on a particular model or a region, and sometimes Apple releases such updates several times a month.
France’s Agence Nationale des Frequencies (ANFR) said on Tuesday that the iPhone 12’s Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) — a measure of the rate of radio frequency energy absorbed by the body from a piece of equipment — has been tested. More than legally permittedwhich prompted the suspension of sales.
A change in French regulations in 2020 allowed SAR testing for the limbs – while holding the phone in the hand – as well as for the head and body, used elsewhere. In the French body’s SAR tests, which the iPhone 12 failed, it is measured at a distance of 0 mm compared to a distance of 5 mm for physical testing.
Belgium’s minister for digitalisation, Mathieu Michel, said in a statement on Friday that while the phone was being reviewed by the country’s IBPT regulator, the first results were “reassuring” and that the phone had to be recalled. Did not need. Belgium.
Nevertheless, it said it had contacted Apple and asked it to “review your software updates in the same way across Europe.”
Denmark also moved to reassure phone owners, saying its safety authority would not take action following France’s findings and that it was not concerned about radiation levels from using the iPhone 12.
“Based on the available information, the Danish Health Authority’s assessment is that you can continue to use your iPhone 12 without any concern,” it said in an emailed statement.
Industry experts said there are no safety risks because regulatory limits based on the phone’s risk of radiation burns or heat stroke are set far below levels where scientists have found evidence of harm.
“Ultimately, I suspect the whole thing will be forgotten soon,” said Ben Wood, chief analyst at CCS Insight. “The iPhone 12 is an older model.”
Apple launched the iPhone 15 on Tuesday and the iPhone 12 is not available to buy directly from Apple. However, it can be purchased from third parties who have inventory or trade in old phones.
A bigger problem would have been a potential recall, which France had threatened if Apple refused to update the software.
Apple’s revenue in Europe last year was about $95 billion, making the region the second largest after the United States. According to some estimates, it sold more than 50 million iPhones in Europe last year.
The American company does not break down its sales by country or model.