Apple Asked to Halt iPhone 12 Sales in France Due to High Radiofrequency Concerns

The phone allegedly isn’t compliant with European regulations on electromagnetic wave exposure to humans.


Corinne Reichert Senior Writer

Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently oversees the CNET breaking news desk for the West Coast. Corinne covers everything from phones, social media and security to movies, politics, 5G and pop culture. In her spare time, she watches soccer games, F1 races and Disney movies.

Apple has been asked to temporarily stop selling the iPhone 12 in France by the National Frequency Agency. The phone exceeds European specific absorption rate (SAR) limits, the agency said Tuesday.

Agence Nationale des Fréquences, or ANFR, manages France’s radio frequencies. As part of its job to monitor radio equipment, ANFR periodically tests phones to check human exposure to electromagnetic waves.

The iPhone 12 doesn’t currently comply with European regulations on SAR values, ANFR said, while the phone is in contact with the body — for example, being held in a hand or pants pocket. SAR values were found to be compliant for iPhone 12 devices being carried at more of a distance from the body, like in coat pockets or bags, however. 

“Apple must immediately take all measures to prevent the affected phones present in the supply chain from being made available,” ANFR said Tuesday. “For phones already sold, Apple must take corrective action as soon as possible to bring the affected phones into compliance. Otherwise, it will be up to Apple to recall them.”

A software update would likely fix any radiation issues, French junior minister for the digital economy Jean-Noel Barrot reportedly told Le Parisien.

Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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