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After France, Belgium and Italy request iPhone 12 software upgrade amid health review

Belgium has asked Apple to update iPhone 12 software across the EU, after France temporarily halted sales due to radiation exposure breaches, prompting Apple to agree to a software update. Reportedly, Italy plans a similar request. Both Apple and French officials emphasize no public health risk from radiation emissions.

Mathieu Michel, Belgium’s state secretary for digitalisation, issued a statement mentioning that although the IBPT regulator is currently conducting a review of the phone, the initial findings have been “reassuring,” and as a result, there is no requirement for a recall of the phone in Belgium, reported Reuters.

As per Reuters, on Thursday, Belgium announced its plan to assess potential health concerns associated with Apple’s iPhone 12. This development raises the possibility that additional European nations may follow suit in banning the model, following France’s decision to cease sales due to violations of radiation exposure limits.

Similarly, Economic Times reported that Italy also plans to request Apple to release a software update for iPhone 12 users within the country, as per a government source. This decision follows Apple’s offer to implement comparable adjustments in France, aimed at resolving a dispute with regulators concerning violations of radiation exposure limits.

To recall, Apple agreed to update the iPhone 12 in France in response to concerns raised by regulators about excessive electromagnetic radiation emissions. France had temporarily halted sales of the device due to it emitting more electromagnetic waves than allowed, reported AFP.

“Apple has assured me that it will implement an update for the iPhone 12 in the next few days,” stated Jean-Noel Barrot, digital minister, France, in a statement to AFP.

As per the report, both Apple and Minister Jean-Noel Barrot emphasized that there was no risk to public health from the emitted radiation.

“This is related to a specific testing protocol used by French regulators and not a safety concern,” Apple stated in a statement, mentioning that the device complied with rules on emissions all around the world.

“We will issue a software update for users in France to accommodate the protocol used by French regulators,” added the California based tech giant.

Barrot granted the global company a two-week timeframe on Tuesday to release an update for its phone, which was approaching the end of its tenure as a flagship Apple product. He stated that the ANFR, the testing agency in charge, would promptly evaluate the update, and he would subsequently determine whether to lift the sales ban.

The report further added that the World Health Organization has stated that numerous studies in the field have found “no established adverse health effects attributed to mobile phone use.”

(With inputs from Reuters and AFP)

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Updated: 16 Sep 2023, 05:49 PM IST

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