Apple releases new software update to control iPhone 12 high radiation levels


New Delhi,UPDATED: Oct 11, 2023 09:49 IST

French authorities recently found that the iPhone 12 emits more radiation than is allowed in France. They asked Apple to stop selling the phone in the country and threatened to recall the phones already sold to customers if Apple did not fix the problem. Apple denied the allegations, saying that the iPhone 12 is certified by multiple international bodies as meeting global radiation standards. However, in a recent development, Apple announced that it will release a software update for the iPhone 12 to comply with France’s radiation testing requirements.

Apple in its official statement said that the problem will be addressed with the release of iOS 17.1 which will stop the iPhone 12 from using more power when the device is in contact with static surfaces. And in the end will make iPHone 12 again legal for sale in France. ” iOS 17.1 includes an update for iPhone 12 for users in France to accommodate this specific test protocol that requires reduced power when off-body on a static surface,” reads Apple’s official support Page.

“iPhone 12 will no longer increase the allowed power when the off-body state is detected, such as while it is sitting on a table. As such, in coverage areas where cellular signal is low, this change in antenna transmit power may result in slightly lower cellular performance in certain off-body use cases. The vast majority of users are not expected to notice any impact,” the note further reads.

As to recall, in September Apple faced accusations from French regulators regarding excessive radiation emissions from the iPhone 12, which had been on the market for three years. These findings led to a temporary suspension of iPhone 12 sales in France. The Agence nationale des fr√©quences (ANFR), the country’s authority for regulating radio-frequency emissions, conducted tests on 141 phones to measure their Specific Absorption Rate (SAR). These tests revealed that the iPhone 12 exceeded the legal limit for on-body radiation emissions.

However, in the official statement on Tuesday, Apple explained why the iPhone 12 was approved for sale in other countries but found to emit too much radiation in France. Apple noted that iPhones have sensors that detect how close the phone is to a user’s body and adjust the transmission power accordingly. When the phone is not close to the user’s body, such as when it is on a table, it uses a slightly higher transmission power.

Apple said that the French testing protocol did not take this feature into account. Now to fix the problem, Apple has released a software update that disables the body-detection technology and ensures that the phone always operates at lower transmission power levels. “iPhone has sensors that can detect when it is sitting on a static surface, like a table, as opposed to being held in the hand or placed in a pocket. This off-body detection mechanism, which has been used in all iPhones for over a decade, allows the device to increase transmit power slightly in off-body scenarios to optimize performance.”

Although Apple emphasized that the iPhone 12 is safe to use even without the software update. The update is primarily intended to address the concerns raised by the French regulatory agency.

“We want all iPhone 12 users to know that iPhone 12 is safe to use and always has been.” Apple said in the statement.

Published On:

Oct 11, 2023

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