PARIS, Sept 26 (Reuters) – French authorities received a software update from Apple (AAPL.O) for its iPhone 12 and are examining it as a solution to a radiation problem, a source at the French Digital Ministry told Reuters on Tuesday.
Apple promised to update software to defuse a row over the radiation levels of iPhone 12 handsets, after France suspended sales of the phones earlier this month following tests that it said found violations of the radiation exposure limits.
France had threatened to request a product recall if Apple refused to carry out a software update.
Apple had previously disputed the French findings, saying the iPhone 12 was certified by several international bodies as meeting global standards, but announced on September 15 that it would release a software update to adapt to the testing methods used in France.
The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.
Paris’ decision to suspend sales of iPhone 12 handsets has sparked concerns in other European countries, including Belgium, which has also requested the software upgrade.
But the software update was limited to France, the Belgian sector regulator told Reuters in an emailed statement.
The Belgian regulator also said it expected more action at the European level after French authorities inform their peers about the fix and the fact that it is not widely available in the European Union.
The French regulator, the Agence Nationale des Fréquences, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Dutch digital watchdog also did not respond to a request for comment.
Italian authorities will wait for French deliberations on the Apple update before making a decision, an Italian government source said.
Researchers have conducted numerous studies over the past two decades to evaluate risk for the health of cell phones. According to the World Health Organization, no adverse health effects have been established.
The radiological alert in France was based on test results different from those carried out in other countries.
Industry experts said there was no safety risk because regulatory limits, based on the risk of burns or heat stroke from phone radiation, were set well below levels where Scientists have found evidence of danger.
Apple launched the iPhone 15 earlier this month and the iPhone 12 is not available for purchase directly from Apple. It can, however, be purchased from third parties with inventory or trade in old phones.
Apple regularly provides software updates for its phones and computers, mainly to address a security issue. They may focus on a particular model or region, and Apple sometimes releases several updates per month.
The iPhone 12 update should be similar to any of these regular software patches. Apple asks iPhones for eligible software updates and users install them.
Report by Elizabeth Pineau; Additional reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Stockholm, Benoit Van Overstraeten in Paris, Marine Strauss in Brussels, Elivira Pollina and Giuseppe Fonte in Milan; Written by Ingrid Melander; Editing by Sharon Singleton and Jane Merriman
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