French regulators have recently demanded that Apple halt the sale of its iPhone 12, claiming that the device emits electromagnetic radiation levels that exceed the exposure standards set by the European Union. While Apple has disputed these findings and insisted that the iPhone 12 complies with regulations, the French government agency responsible for managing wireless communications frequencies has ordered Apple to take immediate action.
The decision to ban the iPhone 12 in France came after the device failed one of two types of tests for electromagnetic waves capable of being absorbed by the human body. The exact reason for the failure remains unclear, especially considering that the iPhone 12 was released in late 2020, and it stands as the only model singled out by the French authorities.
Despite the ban, France's digital minister reassured iPhone 12 users that the radiation levels emitted by the device are still much lower than the thresholds considered harmful by scientific studies. The National Frequency Agency emphasized that its tests do not reflect typical phone use, and it called on Apple to swiftly address the issue for phones already in circulation. If Apple fails to rectify the problem, the agency stated that a recall of the sold devices may be necessary.
The National Frequency Agency's tests found that the iPhone 12 absorbs electromagnetic energy at a rate of 5.74 watts per kilogram when held or carried in a hand or pocket. This level exceeds the EU standard of 4 watts per kilogram. However, experts have stated that the established radiation limits are set well below the threshold at which harm will occur. They argue that the slightly increased radiation emissions from the iPhone 12 are unlikely to have any adverse health consequences for users.
Apple has defended the iPhone 12, stating that the device has been certified by multiple international bodies and complies with all applicable regulations and standards related to radiation. The company has provided the French agency with lab results from both its own tests and third-party laboratories to support its claims of compliance.
The French government agency responsible for regulating wireless communications frequencies has urged Apple to take all available measures to address the issue promptly through software updates. The agency has also pledged to monitor the effectiveness of these updates. If Apple's efforts fail to resolve the radiation emission problem, a recall of the sold iPhone 12 devices may become necessary.
While the ban on the iPhone 12 in France highlights concerns over radiation emissions, experts assert that the slightly elevated levels emitted by the device are unlikely to pose a significant risk to users' health. As Apple works to address the issue, it remains to be seen whether the ban will be lifted or extended. In the meantime, iPhone 12 users are advised to follow recommended practices, such as using earphones or switching to texting, to minimize radiation exposure.