In response to the French regulator’s claims about the iPhone 12 exceeding radiation exposure limits, Apple announced a targeted software update for its French users. This development comes shortly after the tech giant’s unveiling of the iPhone 15, and it aims to alleviate the rising European concerns about mobile phone radiation standards.
Suspension of Sales in France
Earlier this week, the Agence Nationale des Frequences (ANFR) reported that the iPhone 12’s Specific Absorption Rate (SAR), a metric determining the rate at which the body absorbs radiofrequency energy, was above the legally accepted limit. This led to an immediate suspension of the iPhone 12’s sales in France.
In a statement released Friday, Apple addressed the suspension: “We will issue a software update for users in France to accommodate the protocol used by French regulators.” The company also highlighted that their actions are in response to French testing protocols rather than overarching safety concerns.
International Responses and Industry Perspective
The French suspension has rippled through Europe, with Belgium announcing its intention to evaluate the iPhone 12, among other models, for potential health risks. While the World Health Organization maintains that no mobile phones, including the iPhone 12, have shown to cause adverse health effects, the ongoing scrutiny indicates a heightened European focus on device radiation standards.
Ben Wood, a chief analyst at CCS Insight, commented on the issue, suggesting the incident will likely be fleeting. “Ultimately I suspect the whole incident will be quickly forgotten,” said Wood, pointing to the iPhone 12’s status as an older model.
Apple’s Sales in Europe
Despite the iPhone 12 being a previous model, a prolonged suspension in Europe could be detrimental for Apple. The company raked in nearly $95 billion from the continent last year, with over 50 million iPhones sold. While Apple no longer sells the iPhone 12 directly, third-party vendors still offer the model.
Next Steps for Apple
The ANFR is gearing up for a swift examination of Apple’s software update. If deemed effective, it could pave the way for the iPhone 12’s reintroduction to the French market. Prior to the announcement of the update, there were murmurs of a potential recall if Apple hadn’t complied.
Apple’s latest move showcases the challenges tech companies face in navigating the intricate web of global innovation and regional regulations. With multiple iPhone models in the market, adhering to ever-evolving safety standards remains crucial.