Apple Prepares Software to Solve the iPhone 12 Radiation Problem


Apple Prepares Software to Solve the iPhone 12 Radiation Problem
© Getty Images News/Justin Sullivan

Apple finds itself embroiled in a debate over radiation levels emitted by its three-year-old iPhone 12 model. The French authorities, notably the French regulator ANFR, claim that the device exceeds permissible radiation levels, leading to a suspension of its sales in France.

This controversy has set the stage for Apple to develop a software update that may alter the outcome for the smartphone's status in the French market.

Clash Over Testing Protocols

While the French stance on the iPhone 12's radiation levels seems unambiguous, Apple's response offers a counter-narrative.

As reported by Reuters, the Cupertino-based tech giant rejects the allegations, pointing the finger at France's testing protocols instead. Apple has emphasized that the iPhone 12 is not a security threat, backing its claim with certifications from several global bodies.

The company insists that the model aligns with worldwide radiation standards. Interestingly, the software upgrade that Apple is working on won't mitigate the radiation levels - as that's inherently a hardware concern. Instead, it seeks to adjust the "protocol used by French regulators".

By Apple's logic, a revised software could enable the iPhone 12 to meet the French radiation tests' criteria, potentially reinstating its sales in the country.

France's Stricter Standards: A Double-Edged Sword?

The radiation dispute isn't without context.

In 2020, France revamped its rules, intensifying the process of radiation level testing. This included evaluating the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR), which gauges the radiofrequency energy absorbed by a user's body. It was during these rigorous SAR tests that the iPhone 12 was found to breach standard levels when held by a user, despite clearing tests considering the head and body.

International Reactions and Expert Opinions

Outside France, nations like Denmark and Belgium have sided with Apple, allowing the iPhone 12 sales to continue without interruption. Furthermore, industry pundits assert that cell phone radiation from the iPhone 12 poses no risk of burns or heatstroke.

Still, the French remain firm in their position. They are open to reviving iPhone 12 sales but only once the device has successfully navigated their stringent tests. This unfolding saga underscores the balancing act between technological innovation and health safety standards, a topic that will likely remain at the forefront of global tech discussions.