PARIS, France - In a significant move it says is aimed at safeguarding public health, the French broadcasting and telecoms regulator has issued a demand for Apple to withdraw the iPhone 12 from the French market, effective immediately.
The decision comes as tests conducted by the Agence nationale des frquences (ANFR) (National Frequency Agency) revealed that the iPhone 12 exceeds the specific absorption rate (SAR) limits set by European regulations, a statement from the ANFR released on Wednesday said..
As the market surveillance authority for radio equipment and responsible for controlling public exposure to electromagnetic fields, the ANFR regularly conducts inspections on mobile phones available in the French market. In its latest round of tests, which encompassed 141 mobile phones, including Apple's iPhone 12, the focus was on SAR values. SAR measures the rate of radiofrequency energy absorbed by the body from the device being tested.
To ensure compliance with European regulations, the tests were carried out by an accredited laboratory. The criteria stipulate SAR testing at two distances: touch-contact (0 mm) for limb-SAR, such as when the phone is handheld or in a trouser pocket, and 5 mm for body-SAR, when the phone is in a jacket pocket or bag. The regulatory limits for SAR values are set at a maximum of 4 Watts/kg for limb-SAR and 2 W/kg for body-SAR.
The ANFR's findings revealed that while the body-SAR values were within the permissible limits, the limb-SAR values for the iPhone 12 exceeded the set limits, registering at 5.74 W/kg.
As a result of these findings, the ANFR has called upon Apple to take immediate action. The demand includes:
- Preventing the iPhone 12 from entering the supply chain for the French market.
- Implementing corrective measures for existing iPhone 12 units to ensure compliance.
- The possibility of recalling equipment if necessary corrective measures are not promptly taken.
The ANFR has also mandated that Apple's compliance with these directives will be subject to verification.
In response to these actions, the ANFR has instructed its sworn officers to ensure that the iPhone 12 is no longer available for sale in all distribution channels across France, effective September 12, 2023.
This development, the ANFR says underscores its commitment to upholding stringent safety standards and protecting the health of French consumers from potentially harmful levels of electromagnetic radiation. Apple's response and actions in the coming days will be closely monitored by both regulatory authorities and the public, ANFR said.
Apple however has disputed the findings. In a statement released Wednesday, the company said it "contests the results of the review made by ANFR and will continue to engage with the authority to show it is compliant."
Apple said iPhone 12 is certified by multiple international bodies and recognized as compliant with all applicable SAR regulations and standards in the world.
"Apple has provided ANFR representatives multiple Apple and independent third-party lab results proving its compliance," the company's statement said.