The impending cessation of iPhone 12 sales in France is casting a foreboding shadow that other countries within the European Union may also adopt similar measures. The worry at the heart of the issue is that the iPhone 12 releases higher levels of electromagnetic radiation than deemed acceptable. The crux of the probe initiated by France has spurred on Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany to scrutinize the situation further.
The French regulator has laid down a two-week period for Apple, the tech behemoth behind the iPhone 12, to respond to the ongoing investigation. German officials have expressed the possibility of such inquisition prompting stricter protocols across Europe. Despite these claims, Apple maintains its adherence to radiation regulations by providing evidence of compliance.
Earlier this week, France’s National Frequencies Agency (ANFR) declared that radiation trials conducted on the iPhone 12 registered higher than permissable levels of exposure. This sales halt enacted by France might spark a “snowball effect”, warns French digital economy minister Jean-Noël Barrot. In the wake of this situation, the ANFR has decided to circulate its findings amongst other regulators within the EU community.
Belgian authorities, now called to action, have mandated a review into the iPhone 12 and its potential health hazards, having first been launched in 2020. Mathieu Michel, Belgian state secretary for digitalisation voiced his concerns over the health safety of his citizens, noting that it should never be overlooked. He further emphasized the need to delve into all models of Apple, gradually broadening the scope to include other brands.
Similarly, the Dutch digital infrastructure agency (RDI) has also voiced concerns over the breached radiation levels informed by the tests carried out by their French counterparts, although they assured that there was no immediate risk to safety.
Germany’s BNetzA network agency apprised BBC that any findings from the French probe could lead to more exhaustive measures, applicable to all EU members. Meanwhile, the UK hasn’t initiated any corresponding action aligned with the French ban.
Apple adamantly contests the French results, arguing that it has furnished enough proof from its labs and third-party sources to show that their device is indeed in compliance with current radiation regulations.
France’s digital economy minister remains hopeful that Apple could rectify these issues via software updates. However, failures to do so might require a full-scale recall of every iPhone 12 unit sold within France, as stated by ANFR.
The regulatory body conducts a dual approach to radiation testing, measuring a phone both in close contact with a person’s body and placed at a minute distance. Although the iPhone 12 passed the latter test, it faltered on the former, exceeding the acceptable radiation levels set by EU regulations.
Moving forward, the ANFR plans to monitor Apple distributors and stores to ascertain an adherence to the sales cessation of the contentious model. While smartphones in France have previously been withdrawn over radiation concerns, this marks the first time an iPhone has been implicated.
Despite these apparent anomalies, the World Health Organization asserts that large-scale studies over the past years have not linked mobile phone usage to adverse health effects.