France has taken a bold step by ordering Apple to halt the sales of iPhone 12 due to concerns about excessive electromagnetic radiation emissions. The move comes as the French Agency for Radio Frequencies (ANFR) raised the alarm over radiation levels exceeding acceptable thresholds. In addition to the sales freeze, ANFR has urged Apple to address the issue in existing phones, with the warning that if a software update fails to rectify the problem, Apple may have to recall all iPhone 12 units ever sold in the country.
The crux of the matter lies in the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) of the iPhone 12, which measures the rate at which the human body absorbs radiation when in close contact with the device. For such scenarios, the SAR limit is set at four watts per kilogram. The ANFR reported that the "membre" SAR of the iPhone 12 exceeded this limit at 5.74 watts per kilogram, raising concerns about potential health risks. However, it's essential to note that the World Health Organization has previously stated that low-level electromagnetic fields, such as those emitted by mobile phones, do not pose a threat to human health.
Apple is contesting the ANFR's findings, asserting that the iPhone 12 complies with radiation regulations across the globe. Nevertheless, France's digital minister, Jean-Noel Barrot, remains resolute, giving Apple a two-week window to address the issue. If the tech giant fails to do so, a recall of all circulating iPhone 12 units may be on the horizon. This move by France could set a precedent and have implications for other European regulators, potentially sparking a "snowball effect."
As this situation unfolds, the fate of the iPhone 12 in France remains uncertain. Apple's response and the final decision by French authorities will be closely watched by consumers, tech enthusiasts, and regulatory bodies worldwide.