December 7, 2023

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French authorities obtain Apple software update after iPhone 12 dispute – Ministry source

French authorities obtain Apple software update after iPhone 12 dispute – Ministry source

An Apple iPhone 12 is pictured at a mobile phone store in Nantes, France, on September 13, 2023. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe/File Photo Obtaining licensing rights

PARIS, Sept 26 (Reuters) – French authorities have received a software update from Apple for its iPhone 12 and are reviewing it as a fix for a radiation issue, a source at the French Digital Ministry told Reuters on Tuesday.

Apple has pledged to update the software to defuse a row over radiation levels from iPhone 12 phones, after France suspended sales of the phones earlier this month after tests it said found violations of radiation exposure limits.

France threatened to seek a product recall if Apple refused to update the software.

Apple had previously disputed the French results, saying the iPhone 12 had been certified by several international bodies as compatible with global standards, but said on September 15 that it would release a software update to accommodate the testing methods used in France.

The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

Paris’s move to suspend iPhone 12 sales has raised concerns in other European countries, including Belgium, which has also requested a software upgrade.

But the software update was limited to France, the Belgian industry regulator told Reuters in an email statement.

The Belgian regulator also said it expects further steps at the European level after French authorities informed their counterparts of the reform and the fact that it is not widely available in the EU.

The French National Frequency Agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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The Dutch Digital Regulatory Authority also did not respond to a request for comment.

An Italian government source said that the Italian authorities will wait for French deliberations regarding the Apple update before making any decision.

Researchers have conducted multiple studies over the past two decades to evaluate the health risks of cell phones. According to the World Health Organization, no harmful health effects have been proven.

The radiation warning in France was based on test results different from those conducted in other countries.

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

Apple launched the iPhone 15 earlier this month and the iPhone 12 is not available for purchase from Apple directly. However, they can be purchased from third parties who have stock, or trade in old phones.

Apple routinely provides software updates for its phones and computers, often to fix a security issue. They can focus on a specific model or region, and sometimes Apple releases several updates within a month.

The iPhone 12 update is set to be similar to any of these regular software fixes. Apple tests iPhones for eligible software updates and users install them.

Reported by Elizabeth Pineau. (Additional reporting by Subantha Mukherjee in Stockholm, Benoit van Overstraeten in Paris, Maren Strauss in Brussels, and Elvira Pollina and Giuseppe Fonte in Milan – Prepared by Muhammad for the Arabic Bulletin) Writing by Ingrid Melander. Editing by Sharon Singleton and Jane Merriman

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