France’s National Frequency Agency (ANFR) ordered Apple to stop selling its iPhone 12 immediately, after finding the device exceeded the level of electromagnetic radiation allowed by European Union (EU) regulations.

ANFR told Apple to either fix the problem on phones currently in use through a software update, or recall every iPhone 12 sold in France.

The iPhone 12 was released in September 2020 and the device line was one of 141 phones ANFR recently tested for electromagnetic emissions absorbed by the human body.

Following a laboratory testing process, ANFR is able to assess Specific Absorption Rates (SAR) and whether the values comply with European regulations.

SAR is a measure of the rate of radio frequency energy absorbed by the human body.

ANFR found the iPhone 12 emitted 5.74 watts per kilogram while simulating holding the device or storing it in a pocket.

The EU limit for SAR in such conditions is 4.0 watts per kilogram.

Apple disputed ANFR’s claims, stating standards bodies had certified the device’s compliance with global radiation standards.

ANFR plans to send representatives to Apple stores and other distributors to check the model. It urged the vendor “to deploy all available means to put an end to the non-compliance”.

Apple unveiled its latest iPhone 15 range yesterday (12 September).