Apple just released the third beta of iOS 17.1. In addition to this version, the company published a support document saying this upcoming operating system update will fix the high radiation levels issue reported by the French government for iPhone 12 models.
Cupertino says that “all iPhone 12 users in France and around the world to know that iPhone 12 is safe to use and always has been,” as they’re required “to meet accepted energy transmission standards for health and safety, and all iPhone models meet these standards.”
Apple goes on to explain that for more than a decade, iPhones have had an off-body detection feature that allows for slightly higher transmit power when you set the phone down, for example, on a table. The company says the slightly higher power is not applicable to Specific Absorption Rate compliance since the phone is on the table, not on your body, but the ANFR, the French FCC, was using a test protocol that did not account for this off-body detection mechanism, “thereby not allowing a slight increase in power when it is appropriate. So, for users in France, we have released a software update that turns off this feature to accommodate this test protocol.”
That said, iOS 17.1 includes an update for iPhone 12 for users in France to accommodate this specific test protocol that requires reduced power when off-body on a static surface. Apple explains:
“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. As such, in coverage areas where the 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.”
iOS 17.1 also brings tweaks to Apple Music and some other iOS 17 delayed features, which you can learn more about below.