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“Following the withdrawal of the sale of the iPhone 12 for exceeding the “member” specific absorption rate (SAR), Apple has committed to deploying an update in France,” the translated page reads. “This hotfix will be available to all users no later than October 24.”
There is still no confirmation from Apple about this matter, but it can be recalled that past reports revealed that the update would include the fix for France’s radiation issue, giving the latest details from the authority credibility. In Apple’s last iOS 17.1 beta release notes, Apple even confirmed that the update will include it:
Updates the iPhone 12 for users in France to accommodate a test protocol for Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) testing.
The fix should be able to end the issue Apple is facing in France due to radiation concerns ANFR raised, which even led to the iPhone 12 ban. (ANFR has promised to lift it after the release of the fix.) However, in a recent support document, Apple explains the issue is not really an issue but is only limited to the specific standard in the country.
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.”
According to Apple, in order to comply with France’s standard, it will disable this function. In the update, the iPhone 12 will no longer apply the power level increase, even when it detects that it is not in contact with a user’s body. As per Apple, “this change in antenna transmit power may result in slightly lower cellular performance in certain off-body use cases,” albeit users won’t notice the impact.