France action could trigger EU ban on Apple iPhone 12
The European Commission could join France in suspending sales of the Apple iPhone 12 due to above-threshold radiation levels.
A Commission spokesperson said EU countries will now have three months to object to the French restriction but if they do not, it could lead to EU-wide restrictions.
The iPhone 12 was initially launched by Apple in 2020, and the company recently unveiled the iPhone 15 series. Jean-Noël Barrot, France’s junior minister in charge of digital, said he had been in communication with Apple since the decision to withdraw the iPhone 12 from the French market was made.
The French National Frequency Agency (ANFR) said: “Apple must immediately adopt all necessary measures to prevent the iPhone 12 in the supply chain from being made available on the market.”
In response to the demands of ANFR, Apple has assured Barrot it will release a software update for the iPhone 12. Barrot confirmed the ANFR is ready to test the software update to ensure that it brings the model into compliance with European standards applied in France and this would lift the marketing ban.
Barrot said: "Apple is expected to respond within two weeks. 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. In practical terms, this decision could have a snowball effect.”
European lawmakers have mandated a single charging standard for all electronic devices in the European Union which the most recent iPhone incorporates with a USB-C charger. This aims to reduce electronic waste and improve compatibility among various devices.
The ANFR notified Apple of its decision to ban iPhone 12 sales after it had carried out tests which showed the smartphone's Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) was slightly higher than legally allowed.
The ANFR recently checked the specific absorption rates (SAR) of 141 phones sold in France, including Apple's iPhone 12. The SAR measures the rate of radiofrequency energy absorbed by the human body.
In 2020, France widened regulations requiring retailers to display the radiation value of products on packaging beyond mobile phones, including tablets and other electronic devices.
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