France orders Apple to stop selling iPhone 12 over radiation exposure fears

Person on iPhone 12

Person on iPhone 12

Oliver Trapnell

By Oliver Trapnell

Published: 13/09/2023

- 16:51

Updated: 13/09/2023

- 18:38

The iPhone 12 was launched in October 2020 and was recently withdrawn from the company’s product line

France has ordered tech-giant Apple to stop selling the iPhone 12 after tests of the product were found to have breached European radiation exposure limits.

Authorities from France’s Agence Nationale des Frequences (ANFR) said yesterday that the rate of energy absorbed into the human body from the device was higher than legally allowed.

France’s junior minister for digital economy Jean-Noel Barrot said a software update could fix the issue but warned Apple that if the problem was not resolved then a national recall would be announced for the device.

The US-based company contested the reports and insisted the model complied with global radiation standards and was certified by multiple international bodies.

iPhone 12

France has warned Apple it could be forced to issue a recall for the iPhone 12


ANFR said the phone’s specific absorption rate (SAR) was rated at 5.74 watts per kilogram during tests simulating the 2020 model in a hand or pocket.

The EU standard for SAR is just 4.0 watts per kilogram in such tests.

The national regulator did however note that the model compiled with multiple other SAR tests conducted as part of a number of wider tests on 141 phones.

The iPhone 12 was launched in October 2020 and was recently withdrawn from the company’s product line.

iPhone 12 models

iPhone 12 models


Officials from the ANFR are set to be sent to Apple stores and other distributors to check that the model is no longer on the shelves.

The watchdog told the tech giant that it expected them to “deploy all available means to put an end to the non-compliance”.

They added that failure to do so would result in the complete recall of the handsets already sold.

“Apple is expected to respond within two weeks,” Barrot told Le Parisien.

“If they fail to do so, I am prepared to order a recall of all iPhones 12 in circulation.

“The rule is the same for everyone, including the digital giants.”

He added that the findings will be passed on to regulators in other EU member states and that they could have a “snowball effect”.

The ANFR said: “If Apple chooses to update its telephones, it shall be verified by the ANFR.”

You may like