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French authorities receives software update for iPhone 12 amid row over radiation exposure levels: Ministry source

Published September 26, 2023 Updated September 26, 2023 Bookmark Bookmark Share WhatsApp Telegram Facebook Twitter Email LinkedIn

PARIS — French authorities have received a software update from Apple for its iPhone 12 and are reviewing it, a source at the French digital ministry told Reuters on Tuesday (Sept 26).

The United States tech company had pledged to update the software to defuse a row over radiation levels. It had until Wednesday to do so after France suspended sales of iPhone 12 handsets following tests it said found breaches of radiation exposure limits.

Apple contested the findings, saying the iPhone 12 was certified by multiple international bodies as compliant with global standards, but said on Sept15 it would issue a software update to accommodate the testing methods used in France.

Researchers have conducted a vast number of studies over the last two decades to assess the health risks of mobile phones. According to the World Health Organization, no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by them. 

But the radiation warning in France, based on results of tests that differ from those carried out in other countries, has prompted concerns across Europe and other countries, including Belgium, which asked to benefit from the software upgrade too.

Industry experts said there were no safety risks as regulatory limits, based on the risk of burns or heatstroke from the phone’s radiation, were set well below levels where scientists have found evidence of harm.

Apple launched the iPhone 15 earlier this month and the iPhone 12 is not available to buy from Apple directly. It can, however, be bought from third parties that have inventory, or trade old phones.

A bigger issue would have been a potential recall, which France had threatened if Apple had refused to do a software update. REUTERS

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