Fears over radiation levels have led to phone sales being suspended.
Following the move by French authorities to suspend sales of the iPhone 12 over concerns regarding radiation levels emitted by the smartphone, Apple have pledged to update their phone’s software to hopefully resolve any issues.
But similar concerns raised in other European nations may lead to Apple having to do likewise across the European continent. Apple themselves are at pains to point out, however, that the iPhone 12 was certified by multiple international bodies as being compatible with health and safety regulations and that no other Big Tech company has faced similar issues, but nonetheless will initiate a software update to comply with France’s objections.
This matter is but a continuation of a lingering and long-running concern expressed by several bodies over the years regarding how much radiation is emitted by modern cell phones, even though the World Health Organization has stated there is no provable evidence of any health defect caused by cell phone usage.
France has different testing standards to other EU countries and it is believed – certainly from Apple’s perspective – that this is the root cause of the issue and not any problems with the iPhone itself, with even the Belgian Minister for Digitalization saying the phone appears to have no adverse health consequences despite asking Apple to upgrade its software for the Belgian marketplace.
Other EU nations have either initiated new investigations into the matter and/or started consultations with Apple themselves.
Apple released a statement on the French concerns, stating “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. This is related to a specific testing protocol used by French regulators and not a safety concern.”
Apple constantly updates software on its smartphones, sometimes several times a month, so it’s not a particularly difficult thing to do for the tech giant, but it has clearly irked them somewhat, leading to the somewhat terse aforementioned statement.
The Agence Nationale des Frequences (ANFR), France’s digital regulatory body, claimed that the iPhone 12 emitted higher levels of radiofrequency energy than is legally permitted, dating back to a 2020 change in regulations which differed it from other EU countries’ test process.
Experts in the digital industry have stated that there were no safety issues with the iPhone in their opinion as regulatory limits on radiation emitted from mobile devices were deliberately set far below any levels deemed harmful to human health.
France nonetheless threatened a product recall of the iPhone 12 had Apple not taken the step to update the software accordingly. And with sales of over 50 million Apple phones across Europe to the tune of approximately $95 billion, the tech giant decided to comply with French demands.