Apple was banned from selling the iPhone 12 in France because the device’s Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) is above the legal limit. France’s National Frequency Agency (ANFR) stated the model emits more than the permitted electromagnetic waves, and the company must stop selling the device, starting immediately.
The agency tested 141 phones for SAR, including the three-year-old Apple smartphone, and found it emitted 5.74 watts per kilogram when the phone was placed in a pocket. The EU standard for SAR is 4.0 watts per kilogram. The iPhone was found to be within requirements in the second test, which is a placement of 5 mm from a human’s body, where the limit is 2.0 W/kg.
ANFR statement said that Apple must implement “all available means” to resolve this issue quickly or it will be ordered to recall all units sold in the European country. According to Jean-Noel Barrot, France’s junior minister for digital economy in France, Apple can fix this with a software update and is expected to do so within two weeks.
SAR values have safety limits set by the European Union to protect users from the risk of cancer, according to some scientific studies. Barrot told Le Parisien that the data acquired by ANFR will be sent to regulators in other EU member states.
He said it might have “a snowball effect on Apple” for the iPhone 12, but the reality is Apple already sold tens of millions of units since the launch in September 2020. The whole 12 series is now discontinued as the iPhone 15 arrived, meaning such a move is unlikely to affect Apple’s sales in a significant way.