France bans iPhone 12 over radiation concerns

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The National Frequency Agency (ANFR) ordered Apple to remove all iPhone 12 models from the French market immediately, accusing the popular smartphone of generating significantly more electromagnetic radiation than European Union laws allow.

“The ANFR anticipates that Apple will use all available means to end the noncompliance.” Failure to act will result in the recall of previously available to consumers equipment,” the agency stated.

According to the authority, tests at a certified laboratory indicated that the phone surpassed the EU’s permitted SAR value of four watts-per-kilogram (W/kg) while held in hand or in a trouser pocket. When the phone is in a jacket pocket or a bag, the “body” SAR is calculated.

Apple must immediately halt sales of the iPhone 12 in France and obtain ANFR clearance if it makes changes to assure conformity, according to the agency. Beginning Tuesday, ANFR inspectors have been authorised to search “all distribution channels in France” for the prohibited item.

The iPhone 12 was released in October 2020 and has remained popular owing to a cheaper price point than succeeding iterations. According to Apple, the model has a SAR of 0.99 W/kg when measured under the EU standard.

Earlier on Tuesday, Apple, based in California, revealed the iPhone 15 series of devices, which use the USB-C connector in order to comply with a 2022 EU regulation.

The US Federal Communications Commission has yet to comment on the French announcement. The FCC has a SAR limit of 1.6 W/kg.

France’s radiation crackdown follows a string of negative news for Apple. According to reports last week, China has prohibited government personnel from bringing iPhones or other foreign gadgets into the office or using them for official purposes.

In July, Russian authorities were instructed to avoid using iPhones, and the state military industry openly prohibited them, citing security concerns. Later same month, a class action suit filed in the United Kingdom accused the US-based company of monopolistic behaviour regarding app store fees.