A couple of days ago, France’s National Frequency Agency (ANFR) banned the sale of the iPhone 12 in the country because it found that the device emits more than the permitted electromagnetic waves according to EU regulations. Its Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) was above the legal limit.
The agency gave Apple an ultimatum, telling it to use “all available means” to resolve the issue quickly, or face a recall of all iPhone 12 units ever sold in France. Today, Apple has responded, promising to issue a software update that will settle the dispute.
It’s unclear what the software update will do exactly, but Apple is confident that it will alleviate the French agency’s concerns and accommodate the testing methods used in France. Unlike in other countries, in France the ANFR not only performs head and body SAR tests, but also tests SAR for limbs – as when you’re holding a phone in hand. It is these limb tests that the iPhone 12 failed.
In a statement, Apple said:
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.
Officials from Belgium, Germany, and Italy have asked Apple to issue this update to the whole of the EU, so that’s probably what will happen. The French government said the iPhone 12 would be swiftly retested following the release of the update, and if it will be found to be inside the legal SAR limits, sales will be resumed immediately.