Apple has announced plans to release a software update for users of its iPhone 12 model in France following concerns raised by the country’s radiation watchdog. The National Frequencies Agency found that the device emits electromagnetic waves exceeding European limits, which could result in a sales ban and recall if not addressed by the tech giant.
The specific absorption rate (SAR), a measure of radio frequency energy absorbed by the human body, was found to be 5.74 watts per kilogram when the iPhone 12 is held or kept in a pocket. This exceeds the regulatory limit of 4 watts per kilogram. As a result, the watchdog has urged Apple to prevent iPhones in the supply chain from reaching customers and to provide a software update for devices that have already been sold.
“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.
Although the iPhone 12 was released in 2020 and is already in the hands of millions of customers worldwide, including those in France, Apple recently unveiled its new iPhone 15 lineup, discontinuing direct sales of some older models. Nonetheless, third-party resellers may still have the iPhone 12 in stock. The National Frequencies Agency has instructed officers to ensure that the model is no longer offered for sale until Apple addresses their concerns.
The Apple spokesperson clarified that this issue is specific to the testing protocol used by French regulators and does not pose a safety concern. Since its introduction, the iPhone 12 has been certified and recognized as compliant with all applicable SAR regulations and standards globally.