Belgium urges Apple for iPhone 12 software upgrade in EU, Apple to address radiation concerns with software update

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15th September 2023 – (Paris) Mathieu Michel, Belgium’s state secretary for digitalisation, announced on Friday that he has reached out to Apple, requesting a software upgrade for the iPhone 12 across European Union (EU) countries. However, he clarified that a preliminary review conducted by the Belgian regulator, IBPT, has indicated that the handset does not pose an immediate danger to users.

Michel stated that while the IBPT regulator’s review is still ongoing, the initial findings have provided reassurance. As a result, there is currently no need for a recall of the iPhone 12 in Belgium.

This development follows Belgium’s decision on Thursday to investigate potential health risks associated with Apple’s iPhone 12. The move comes after France recently halted sales of the model due to concerns about exceeding radiation exposure limits.

The preliminary review results from the Belgian regulator offer some relief, indicating that the situation may not escalate to a ban or recall. However, the request for a software upgrade from Apple underscores the importance of promptly and comprehensively addressing any potential issues.

Apple, in response to allegations of high radiation levels emitted by iPhones, has informed French regulators that a software update will be issued for iPhone 12 models to address the concerns regarding radiation levels exceeding the country’s legal limits. Apple clarified that the issue was related to France’s specific testing protocol and reiterated that it does not pose a safety concern. The details of the upcoming update were not disclosed, but it is expected to accommodate the testing protocol used in France. Gizmodo reached out to Apple for further comment but did not receive an immediate response.

France had temporarily halted sales of iPhone 12 models after tests conducted in the country revealed electromagnetic radiation levels exceeding the limits set by the European Union. The regulator specifically highlighted the phone’s specific absorption rate, which measures the level of radio waves absorbed by the body emitted by a device. Belgium and Germany subsequently announced their own reviews of the iPhone 12 for potential radiation issues.

Apple had been contesting the findings of regulators since they were initially announced. French Digital Affairs Minister Jean-Noel Barrot informed Reuters that the country’s regulatory agency, the Agence Nationale Des Frequences (ANFR), is preparing to test the software update. The minister also stated that the update should make the iPhone 12 compliant with EU standards, reiterating that a software update was all that was required.

Apple, being protective of its brand reputation, took a cautious approach in response to the radiation allegations. Apple support staff were reportedly instructed to withhold information about the radiation issue. Instead, they were advised to inform customers that all iPhones undergo rigorous testing to ensure safety.

Although the iPhone 12 was launched in 2020, Apple has already shifted its focus to the newer models. Following France’s demands, Apple removed the iPhone 12 from its store page.