The long-running saga surrounding the high Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) values of the iPhone 12 in France is finally drawing to a close. Apple is scheduled to release an update addressing the high SAR values for iPhone 12 users in France by October 24. This information comes from France’s ANFR, the national regulator of frequencies.
This upcoming update is none other than iOS 17.1, as recently disclosed by Apple itself. It is reasonable to assume that, like previous iOS updates, this one will be rolled out globally on the same day.
To provide a brief overview of the situation: initially, France prohibited the sale of iPhone 12 devices in the country due to the elevated SAR values identified by ANFR. Subsequently, Apple committed to issuing a software fix. Towards the end of the previous month, French authorities granted approval for the update. Today, these authorities have announced the official release date.
Therefore, starting from October 24, it is anticipated that the high SAR values associated with the iPhone 12 will no longer pose an issue. However, there is an unfortunate consequence to this resolution. Apple stated that the reason for the elevated SAR values was the off-body detection function within iOS.
This function detects when the phone is not in direct contact with the body, increasing transmit power in such scenarios. With the upcoming update, this off-body detection feature will be disabled in France, potentially resulting in reduced data connectivity in areas with limited network coverage.
Aside from the SAR fix, iOS 17.1 introduces several additional features and improvements. These include a favorites system for Apple Music, support for AirDrop over the internet, new options for monitoring bank and card balances within the Wallet app, a Dynamic Island flashlight indicator, compatibility with the Nintendo Switch N64 Controller, enhancements to Photo Shuffle on the lock screen, and the disabling of certain Action Button features (such as Camera, Flashlight, Voice Memo, Focus, and Magnifier) when the iPhone is in your pocket.