Apple iPhone 12 radiation issue puts Europe on alert amid software upgrade in France

Apple iPhone 12 radiation led to move that comes after series of complaints in major European countries like Belgium, Italy, and Germany

By Web Desk
September 15, 2023
Apple iPhone 12 on display at a tech shop. — AFP

Apple announced on Friday that it would upgrade the iPhone 12 in France, addressing regulators' worries regarding the electromagnetic radiation that the smartphones emit.

The move comes after a series of legal complaints regarding the Apple iPhone 12 radiation issue were received in major European countries like Belgium, Italy, and Germany.


France ordered a halt to sales of the Apple iPhone 12, released in 2020, on Tuesday after finding that the model emitted more electromagnetic waves than permitted.

"Apple has assured me that it will implement an update for the iPhone 12 in the next few days," said France´s digital minister Jean-Noel Barrot in a statement to AFP.

Both the firm and Barrot insisted there was no danger to public health from the radiation.

"This is related to a specific testing protocol used by French regulators and not a safety concern," Apple said in a statement, adding that the device complied with rules on emissions all around the world.

"We will issue a software update for users in France to accommodate the protocol used by French regulators."

China woes

The US tech giant had been given two weeks to issue an update to its phone, which was coming to the end of its career as a front-line Apple product.

Barrot said the agency in charge of testing, the ANFR, would quickly assess the update and decide whether to lift the ban on sales.

The World Health Organisation points out that several studies in the field have failed to find adverse health effects caused by mobile phone use.

And there are no specific illnesses linked to such radiation.

But exposure to more than 40 watts per kilogram (W/kg) of electromagnetic radiation does increase body temperature.

European regulations allow only 4 W/kg for such devices and the iPhone 12 exceeded that level by 1.7 W/kg.

Apple has endured an unusually tough week.

Its launch of new products was overshadowed by an announcement that it was replacing its proprietary "lightning" charging ports with standard USB-C ports on the latest generation of iPhones, a measure demanded by EU regulators.

And Chinese officials denied claims that they had banned iPhones in government buildings before taking a swipe at the firm.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said officials were following "many recent media reports exposing security incidents relating to Apple mobile phones".