Apple Says iOS 17.1 Complies with France’s SAR Testing for iPhone 12

Apple today released iOS 17.1 beta 3 for developers today, and the update also includes some changes specifically aimed at iPhone 12 users in France.

This comes in response to a statement from France’s Agence Française Nationale des Fréquences (ANFR), which claimed that the iPhone 12 exceeded the set Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) limits.

Apple assures that the iPhone 12 is safe to use and complies with international SAR regulations and standards. These standards are designed to limit energy transmission when a device is in close contact with the human body.

For over a decade, iPhones have featured an off-body detection mechanism that allows for a slight increase in transmit power when the phone is placed on a static surface, like a table. This feature has been tested and verified to comply with SAR requirements. However, ANFR’s testing protocol did not account for this off-body detection, leading to the claim that the iPhone 12 exceeded SAR limits.

To address this, the coming iOS 17.1 update for users in France will disable the off-body detection feature. This change may result in slightly lower cellular performance in specific off-body use cases, although the majority of users are not expected to notice any impact.

The update ensures that the iPhone 12 will meet the specific SAR testing protocol used by ANFR, which requires devices to meet on-body SAR limits even when tested off-body.

Apple says the iPhone 12 has been certified as meeting or exceeding all applicable SAR regulations since its launch in 2020.

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