Apple routinely provides software updates for its phones and computers, mostly to fix a security issue. Image Credit: Reuters

Paris: French authorities have received a software update from Apple for its iPhone 12 and are reviewing it, a source at the French digital ministry told Reuters on Tuesday, as the U.S. tech giant sought to avoid any risk of a costly recall.

Apple pledged to update the software to defuse a row over radiation levels from iPhone 12 handsets, after France suspended sales of the phones earlier this month following tests it said found breaches of radiation exposure limits.

France had threatened a recall if Apple had refused to do a software update.

Apple contested the French findings, saying the iPhone 12 was certified by multiple international bodies as compliant with global standards, but said on Sept.15 it would issue a software update to accommodate the testing methods used in France.

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The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

Researchers have conducted a vast number of studies over the last two decades to assess the health risks of mobile phones.

According to the World Health Organisation, no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by them.

But the radiation warning in France, based on results of tests that differ from those carried out in other countries, has prompted concerns across Europe and other countries, including Belgium, which asked to benefit from the software upgrade too.

Industry experts said there were no safety risks as regulatory limits, based on the risk of burns or heatstroke from the phone's radiation, were set well below levels where scientists have found evidence of harm.

Apple launched the iPhone 15 earlier this month and the iPhone 12 is not available to buy from Apple directly. It can, however, be bought from third parties that have inventory, or trade old phones.

Apple routinely provides software updates for its phones and computers, mostly to fix a security issue. They can be focused on a particular model or a region, and sometimes Apple issues several updates in a month.

The iPhone 12 update is set to be similar to any of these regular software fixes. Apple pings iPhones for eligible software updates and users install them.