While Apple unveiled the iPhone 15, France halted production of the iPhone 12.
On Tuesday, the same day of the September iPhone event, French radiation watchdog agency ANFR (Agence Nationale des Fréquences) released a statement temporarily suspending sales of the iPhone 12 for exceeding radiation levels. ANFR conducted a test of specific absorption rate (SAR) close or in contact with limbs (e.g., in a user’s hand or in their pants pocket). ANFR found SAR levels to be above regulatory limits. The agency called for a temporary suspension of iPhone 12 sales until it could be remedied.
In a statement to Reuters, Apple refuted the claims, saying the iPhone 12 “was certified by multiple international bodies as compliant with global radiation standards, that it had provided several Apple and third-party lab results proving the phone’s compliance to the French agency.” Apple continued to say it is contesting ANFR’s findings and will work with the agency to find resolve the issue.
While it’s certainly a scary to think the thing you carry around all day could have serious health consequences, it’s not as bad as it sounds. According to the World Health Organization, which has conducted many studies on electromagnetic fields produced by mobile phones, “no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use.”
Furthermore, in an interview with French news outlet Le Parisien, Jean-Noel Barrot, junior minister for telecommunications and the digital economy, said a software update could sufficiently lower radiation levels. So even if the iPhone 12 radiation levels are too high, there’s likely a simple solution.
Coincidentally, as of Tuesday’s launch of the iPhone 15, the iPhone 12 is longer directly sold through the Apple Store. However, that doesn’t mean it’s discontinued; it is still available through third-party vendors. If you want to learn more about radiation frequency measurements of Apple devices, it publicly lists exposure levels on its website.