High iPhone 12 radiation levels behind sales ban threat as watchdog warns about its SAR rating

High iPhone 12 radiation levels behind sales ban decision as France warns about its SAR rating
The French government's radiation monitoring watchdog ANFR subjected the iPhone 12 to one of its Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) tests, and the handset reportedly surpassed the legal radiation emissions limit. It has now contacted Apple with the results from the test, and asked it to undertake the necessary measures to lower the threshold.

Apple will have the mandatory two-week period to respond to the request, while the ANFR watchdog has the power to halt the iPhone 12 sales in the country if it decides to advise so. Speaking at an interview for The Parisien, the digital economy minister Jean-Noel Barrot informed that if Apple doesn't issue a response to the radiation agency's notification "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. Europe has been harder on the Silicon Valley juggernauts when it comes to privacy, competition, or sustainability measures, so the iPhone 12's SAR level ban would be just a continuation of that trend.

One of its biggest wins for the end user was on display just yesterday when Apple announced the iPhone 15 series. They are all now equipped with a standard USB-C port instead of the aging Lightning one, and Apple also threw in the last holdout - the AirPods case - for a good measure, equipping it with USB-C charging as well. 

Apple's complete move to USB-C is not only better from a technological and environmental perspective, but would also resolve compatibility issues between various devices, and may lower the amount of e-waste thrown out each year. Too bad that the USB-C switch didn't also increase the iPhone 15 charging speeds, but Apple has apparently decided to leave that upgrade for a future series.

The iPhone's SAR levels are not under scrutiny for the first time as other tests have shown that it can go over the legal limits, but in the US the FCC has dismissed those claims and cleared Apple a few years back. 

It remains to be seen how these new high iPhone 12 radiation allegation will hold up as, according to Mr Barrot, Apple can actually fix the SAR rating issue with a simple software update. "This is the first time that Apple is concerned by this type of procedure for one of its models," he adds, "and this only applies to iPhone 12."

Recommended Stories

Loading Comments...
FCC OKs Cingular\'s purchase of AT&T Wireless