Tests showed the iPhone 12's radiation levels were higher than legally allowed
Tests showed the iPhone 12’s radiation levels were higher than legally allowed (Picture: Getty)

Following the high of yesterday’s iPhone 15 announcements, it’s bad news for Apple in France as the tech giant must stop selling its iPhone 12 model in the country due to high radiation levels.

France’s junior minister for the digital economy told the newspaper Le Parisien about the move in an interview.

The country’s radiation watchdog ANFR notified Apple of its decision to ban iPhone 12 sales after it had conducted tests showing that the smartphone’s Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) was higher than legally allowed, Jean-Noel Barrot told the paper.

Mr Barrot said a software update would be sufficient to fix the radiation issues linked to the phone which the American company has been selling since 2020.

‘Apple is expected to respond within two weeks’, he said.

Mr Barrot added that if the company fails to respond, he was prepared to order a recall of all iPhones 12 in circulation.

‘The rule is the same for everyone, including the digital giants.’

Apple logo
Apple must stop selling its iPhone 12 model in France due to high radiation levels (Picture: Reuters/Stephanie Lecocq)

The European Union has set safety limits for SAR values linked to exposure to mobile phones, which could increase the risk of some forms of cancer according to scientific studies.

Limits are measured in watts per kilogram, with a high of 2W/kg when a phone is held near the head or torso, and 4W/kg when carried. Mr Barrot reported the iPhone 12 emitted 5.7W/kg when carried.

However, Mr Barrot said the EU had set its threshold ‘ten times lower than the level which, according to scientific studies, can have consequences for users’.

The French watchdog will now pass on its findings to regulators in other EU member states.

‘In practical terms, this decision could have a snowball effect,’ said Mr Barrot.

Apple said that the iPhone 12 has been certified by multiple international bodies and is recognized as compliant with all applicable SAR regulations and standards in the world. 

The company contests the results of the review made by the ANFR and said it would continue to work with the authority to show that it is compliant.

The iPhone maker was recently forced to switch to USB-C charging ports on its devices due to EU regulations.

In 2020, France widened regulations requiring retailers to display the radiation value of products on packaging beyond cell phones, including tablets and other electronic devices.

Metro.co.uk has reached out to Apple for comment.

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