iPhone 12 : Information on Apple’s software update

CMR 13 octobre 2023
Following the iPhone 12 withdrawal due to an excessive “limb” specific absorption rate (SAR), Apple committed to deploy an update in France. The patch will be available for all French users on the 24 October at the latest.

The ANFR checked Apple’s iPhone 12 specific absorption rate. SAR quantifies the energy of electromagnetic waves likely to be absorbed by the human body. Its evaluation is a European requirement that must take into account reasonably foreseeable conditions. It’s within this framework that the accredited laboratory mandated by the ANFR found that several frequency bands used in Europe had an excessive “limb” SAR, despite following a protocol that regularly stimulated the device so as to activate algorithms meant to control its transmission power near the human body. On the 12 September, the ANFR thus demanded that the iPhone 12 be withdrawn from the French market until the device is brought into conformity.

Apple developed a software update that the ANFR was able to approve as it effectively brings the “limb” SAR below the regulatory limit of 4 W/kg. This update was first released a few days ago to a number of volunteer Apple clients (“beta-testers”). Apple has committed to extend the software patch to all French iPhone 12 users on the 24 October at the latest.

The current marketing ban on the iPhone 12 shall remain in force in France until the update’s full deployment to the general public.

The ANFR, acting as a national control authority jointly responsible for the surveillance of the European single market, notified this non-compliance to the Commission and the Member-states of the European Union.