France Orders Apple to Stop Selling iPhone 12 over Radiation Concerns

France has ordered Apple to cease sales of the iPhone 12 due to concerns about excessive electromagnetic radiation. The French watchdog on radio frequencies, known as ANFR, has also instructed Apple to address the issue with existing phones. If a software update cannot resolve the problem, the ANFR has advised Apple to recall all iPhone 12 devices sold in the country. However, the World Health Organization has reassured the public about the safety of mobile phone radiation, stating that there is no evidence to suggest harm from exposure to low-level electromagnetic fields.

The iPhone 12, released in September 2020, is still sold globally. Apple is contesting the ANFR’s review and has provided lab results from both the company and third parties to demonstrate compliance with relevant regulations. The French digital minister, Jean-Noel Barrot, explained that the decision to halt sales was based on radiation levels surpassing the acceptable threshold, according to Reuters. Barrot stated that Apple must respond within two weeks, and failure to do so may result in a recall of all iPhone 12 devices in circulation. France intends to share its findings with regulators across the European Union, which could lead to similar actions in other countries.

The ANFR evaluates the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) of devices against two modes of phone usage. The “membre” check assesses the SAR when a phone is in close proximity to the body, such as when held or placed in a pocket. The SAR limit for this scenario is four watts per kilogram. The ANFR found that the iPhone 12’s “membre” SAR measured 5.74 watts per kilogram, exceeding the limit. However, the SAR measure for the phone being slightly further away, such as when it is in a bag or jacket pocket, fell below the threshold.

Apple announced the release of the new iPhone 15 on the same day the news broke in France. The iPhone 15 features a different charging port than previous models, and Apple will provide an adapter to enable the use of existing cables. Amidst these developments, the Chinese foreign ministry denied media reports claiming that government agencies had instructed staff to stop using iPhones, stating that China has not imposed any laws or regulations banning the use of Apple’s products.

– Reuters