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Apple’s new support document explains the details behind France’s iPhone 12 radiation issue. The company stresses that the series meets international standards and is safe for everyone. It also shares that the only problem in the matter points to the specific test protocol of France, which has a different standard. 

According to the company, the issue started with a Specific Absorption Rate (SAR), which pertains to the energy transmission limit of a device when it is in close contact with the human body.

iPhones determine how much power transmission they release depending on whether they are in contact with a human body or when they are on a static surface. To do that, the devices use a detection mechanism, which lets the devices increase the transmission during off-body situations in order to achieve better performance. However, Apple explains that France’s Agence Française Nationale des Fréquences, which started the complaint, doesn’t want this practice.

“The specific test protocol used by ANFR requires that devices meet the on-body SAR limits, even when the device is tested off-body on a static surface,” Apple details in the document. “This decision is not consistent with international standards, which allow for independent testing of power control mechanisms that may not be activated during standard SAR tests.”

With this, the iPhone maker says it will include the fix France approved in the official release of iOS 17.1, which is still in the beta testing phase. It is important to note, however, that it will only be limited to France, although other EU territories also voiced concerns in the past.

“iPhone 12 will no longer increase the allowed power when the off-body state is detected, such as while it is sitting on a table,” Apple adds. “As such, in coverage areas where cellular signal is low, this change in antenna transmit power may result in slightly lower cellular performance in certain off-body use cases. The vast majority of users are not expected to notice any impact.”


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