The French watchdog Agence Nationale des Fréquences told Apple Inc. Tuesday that it has to halt sales of its iPhone 12 in France over fears the device emits dangerous levels of radiation.
ANFR, as it’s known for short, told Apple that if the phones are not fixed via a software update, every iPhone 12 will have to be recalled from the country, despite the fact that the World Health Organization has previously stated that exposure to low-level electromagnetic fields does not put humans at risk.
France doesn’t agree. The agency said that after checking the iPhone 12’s specific absorption rate, or SAR, the phones present a threat. SAR is a measurement of the rate of radio frequency energy that the body absorbs from various kinds of equipment. According to ANFR, during tests, the iPhone 12 measured 5.74 watts per kilogram while in hand or in a pocket, with the European Union standard being 4 watts per kilogram.
The iPhone 12 was launched in 2020 and has recently been withdrawn from Apple’s product line, but if Apple fails to do something about the radiation levels, it will be forced to take all the phones it has already sold back. “Apple is expected to respond within two weeks,” French digital minister Jean-Noel Barrot told the French newspaper Le Parisien. He added that the rules for Apple are the same for all “digital giants” and further warned that he will share the agency’s findings across the EU trading bloc, which could result in a “snowball effect.”
It seems the snowball is already gathering some momentum. Reuters reported today that though the Dutch watchdog Nederlandse Rijksinspectie Digitale Infrastructuur, or RDI, has said there is “no acute risk” to iPhone 12 owners, a “norm has been exceeded” and Apple will soon have to explain why it has breached “European norms.” Reuters added that agencies in Germany and Spain are now also interested in what the French have discovered.
This could turn out to be some mess for Apple. It’s not known just how many iPhone 12s are being used inside the bloc, but data shows Europe is Apple’s largest market behind the Americas. Apple has said it’s now in talks with the French regulator but explained that the iPhone 12 has been certified by multiple international bodies and has never been found to breach global radiation standards.
Photo: Shiwa ID/Unsplash
Your vote of support is important to us and it helps us keep the content FREE.
One-click below supports our mission to provide free, deep and relevant content.
Join the community that includes more than 15,000 #CubeAlumni experts, including Amazon.com CEO Andy Jassy, Dell Technologies founder and CEO Michael Dell, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger and many more luminaries and experts.