Apple is fighting France’s claims that the iPhone 12 surpasses European radiation exposure limits after French regulators on Tuesday ordered a pause on sales and a fix to phones already sold to customers.
France’s National Frequency Agency said it “has demanded that Apple withdraw the iPhone 12 from the French market, effective 12 September 2023, as measures show the specific absorption rate exceeds the set limits.” The agency said the iPhone 12 is not compliant with European Union regulations.
“Apple must immediately adopt all necessary measures to prevent the iPhone 12 in the supply chain from being made available on the market,” ANFR added.
Disputing the agency’s claims, Apple said it had already given the agency multiple lab results conducted by the company and independent third parties that showed the device’s compliance with relevant SAR regulations and global standards.
The company said it was contesting the AFNR’s review results and would continue to work with the agency to demonstrate the phone’s compliance.
SAR is a measure of the rate of energy absorption by the body from the source being measured, according to the ANFR. But experts and regulators generally say not to worry.
“To date, and after much research performed, no adverse health effect has been causally linked with exposure to wireless technologies,” according to the World Health Organization. “Provided that the overall exposure remains below international guidelines, no consequences for public health are anticipated.”
ANFR ruled that for iPhone 12s already in use, Apple “must adopt all necessary corrective measures to bring the telephones into conformity as soon as possible, otherwise, Apple will have to recall the equipment.”
The measure was effective from Tuesday, with the regulator adding it would ensure the product is no longer offered for sale in all distribution channels in France from that day.
France’s Minister for the Digital Economy Jean-Noel Barrot confirmed in a tweet that iPhone 12 sales are “halted in France until Apple offers an update for all affected devices.”
“The @anfr found that the iPhone 12 was emitting a level of waves slightly higher than the authorized threshold,” Barrot wrote in another tweet, translated from French. “This level is more than 10 times lower than the level at which there could be a health risk.”
The announcement came as Apple unveiled the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro, Apple’s newest iteration of its iconic product, at its annual keynote event in California on Tuesday.