France’s Agence Nationale des Frequences (ANFR) has imposed a ban on the sale of Apple’s iPhone 12, citing radiation emissions exceeding the European Union’s legal standards.
The agency has acted swiftly, instructing Apple stores and other distributors in France to stop selling the phone. Apple aims to alleviate concerns in France by releasing a software update for iPhone 12 users.
Belgium Joins the Review Train
Following France’s lead, Belgium is now gearing up for its own probe into the potential health risks linked to the iPhone 12. State Secretary for Digitalization, Mathieu Michel, has reached out to Belgium’s regulatory authority, IBPT-BIPT, for a comprehensive evaluation.
Additionally, Michel has requested that future assessments cover not just Apple’s product line but also smartphones from other manufacturers.
While Belgium is taking careful steps, watchdogs in Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands are also keeping a close eye on unfolding events.
Unlike Belgium, Italy has no immediate plans to initiate an inquiry. Yet, given the domino effect France’s ban might trigger, other EU nations are unlikely to remain passive. For example, the Dutch digital watchdog and Germany’s network regulator BNetzA are reviewing the French report.
Angeline van Dijk, Dutch Inspector General, noted that although no immediate safety risk appears to exist, they are prepared for prompt talks with Apple if necessary.
Financial Implications for Apple
Apple’s European market is nothing to scoff at; approximately 50 million iPhones were sold across the continent last year.
If France’s ban transforms into a wider European movement, it could deliver a significant blow to Apple’s financial standing in the region. Nonetheless, Apple’s shares saw a slight 1% uptick in midday trading last Thursday.
Now, let’s talk numbers. The Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) is what’s at the center of this dispute. SAR measures how much radiofrequency energy a human body absorbs from a device like a mobile phone.
The French agency states that the iPhone 12’s SAR level breaches the permissible limit. Apple, however, denies this claim, pointing to international certifications to prove its case.
Meanwhile, authorities from other European countries are leaning into the issue. Spain’s consumer group OCU has explicitly requested a halt in iPhone 12 sales.
Furthermore, a report from Rotterdam-based Algemeen Dagblad revealed that the Dutch telecom regulator is seeking clarification from Apple about the French claims.
Clearly, Apple’s trouble over the iPhone 12’s SAR levels is mounting, and the company might have to face wider-ranging repercussions soon.