Why is iPhone banned in many countries?

Several European countries, including France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany, are raising concerns about the level of electromagnetic radiation emitted by the iPhone 12. France recently ordered Apple to halt sales of the iPhone 12 due to radiation levels exceeding permissible limits.15 Sept 2023

The French regulator, ANFR, has given Apple two weeks to respond to its investigation, and German authorities suggest that this could lead to broader measures across Europe.

Belgium has initiated a review by instructing its regulator to assess whether the iPhone 12 poses health risks. The Dutch Digital Infrastructure Agency (RDI) also noted that radiation levels, based on French tests, appeared to be exceeded but stated there was no immediate safety risk.

Germany’s BNetzA network agency indicated that the French investigation might result in measures applicable to all EU member states.

Apple has contested the French findings, stating that it provided lab results from both the company itself and third parties, demonstrating the device’s compliance with regulations.

France’s digital economy minister expressed hope that Apple could resolve the issue through a software update. However, if unsuccessful, Apple might need to recall all iPhone 12 units sold in France, according to ANFR.Belgium said on Thursday it will review the Apple (AAPL) iPhone 12’s potential health risks tied to radiation, shortly after France flagged the concern and halted sales of the smartphone model. Both countries’ actions may lead to other European countries following suit.

France’s radiation watchdog, Agence Nationale des Frequences (ANFR), banned sales of the older iPhone model after tests showed it emitted radiation beyond the legal exposure limits set by European Union (EU) authorities.2

Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) measures the rate of radiofrequency energy being absorbed by the body from the source being measured, such as a cell phone.3 ANFR said earlier this week that the iPhone 12’s SAR was more than legally permitted.2

ANFR plans to ensure that no iPhone 12 is sold at French Apple stores or other distributors. If Apple doesn’t resolve the issue, it may be forced to recall the model across France.2

However, Apple is contesting the findings, saying that the 2020 model complies with global radiation standards, based on the certifications of international bodies and third-party lab results.4

The red flag raised by the French may result in other iPhone 12 bans in Europe, although Italy said it doesn’t plan to take additional steps at the moment.1

Belgium’s state secretary for digitalization, Mathieu Michel, has reached out to its national regulator IBPT-BIPT for an assessment of iPhone 12’s health risks, and requested a separate review of all of Apple’s smartphones as well as devices by other manufacturers later.1

Dutch, German, and Spanish authorities are concerned as well. The Dutch digital watchdog is looking into the French report, as is the German network regulator BNetzA. Spain’s consumer group OCU has requested that authorities stop iPhone 12 sales.5

hough a breakdown of data by country isn’t available, it is estimated that about 50 million iPhones were sold in Europe last year. In terms of revenue, Europe is second only to the Americas for Apple, bringing in about $95 billion last year, according to a Reuters report.1

Apple shares were up about 1% in midday trading Thursday

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