The French regulatory body responsible for radio frequencies, ANFR, has also called upon Apple to rectify existing phones in the country.
ANFR has advised Apple that if the issue cannot be resolved through a software update, the tech giant must recall every iPhone 12 ever sold in France.
However, the World Health Organization has previously reassured the public about radiation emitted by mobile phones, stating on its website that there is no evidence to suggest that exposure to low-level electromagnetic fields is harmful to humans.
The iPhone 12, initially launched in September 2020, remains available for purchase globally.
Apple has responded to the ANFR’s review by contesting the decision and presenting laboratory results from both the company and third parties to demonstrate the device’s compliance with relevant regulations.
According to France’s digital minister, Jean-Noel Barrot, the decision to halt sales is based on radiation levels exceeding acceptable thresholds.
He mentioned that the ANFR found the Apple iPhone 12’s Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) to be above the legally permitted limit.
Apple given two weeks to address iPhone 12 radiation issue
Apple has two weeks to respond to the decision, and if they fail to do so, a recall of all iPhone 12 devices in circulation may be ordered.
France intends to share its findings with other European regulators, potentially leading to broader actions across the trading bloc.
ANFR assesses SAR values in two usage scenarios: one close to the body and another slightly further away.
The iPhone 12 exceeded the SAR limit for close contact, with a SAR measurement of 5.74 watts per kilogram, while staying within the threshold for slightly greater distance scenarios.
The announcement coincided with the unveiling of Apple’s new iPhone 15 on the same day.
China’s foreign ministry also issued a statement refuting claims that government agencies had advised staff to stop using iPhones, asserting that there are no laws, regulations, or policies prohibiting the use of Apple products in China.