PARIS - Apple must stop selling its iPhone 12 model in France due to above-threshold radiation levels, France's junior minister for the digital economy told newspaper Le Parisien in an interview published on Tuesday.
France's radiation watchdog ANFR notified Apple of its decision to ban iPhone 12 sales after it had carried out tests that showed the smartphone's Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) was slightly higher than legally allowed, Jean-Noel Barrot told the paper.
Apple did not immediately reply to a Reuters request for comment. Barrot said a software update would be sufficient to fix the radiation issues linked to the phone which the U.S. company has been selling since 2020.
"Apple is expected to respond within two weeks", he said, adding: "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."
The European Union has set safety limits for SAR values linked to exposure to mobile phones, which could increase the risk of some forms of cancer according to scientific studies.
The French watchdog will now pass on its findings to regulators in other EU member states. "In practical terms, this decision could have a snowball effect", said Barrot. In 2020, France widened regulations requiring retailers to display the radiation value of products on packaging beyond cell phones, including tablets and other electronic devices.