why is the minister for digital giving Apple an ultimatum?

The National Frequency Agency (ANFR) this Tuesday, September 12, 2023 asked Apple to recall its iPhone 12, which emits more waves than the regulations allow. If necessary, the government could also download smartphones.

End of the road for iPhone 12 in France. An Apple phone launched in 2020 can no longer be marketed in France due to exceeding the limit values ​​for electromagnetic waves emitted and absorbed by the human body, according to the National Frequency Agency (ANFR).

The authority also asks the Apple brand to “implement all available means to quickly correct this defect” on copies already sold, under the threat of having to withdraw them from the market, according to a press release sent this Tuesday, September 12 evening to AFP.

ANFR calls on Apple to implement all available means to quickly correct this malfunction. If it doesn’t, it will be up to Apple to pull the circulating copies. https://t.co/tNwPnyvsjo

15 days to fulfill

“I believe in the company’s sense of responsibility for following our rules. My mission is for them to be respected. If they don’t, I’m ready to order the withdrawal of the iPhone 12s from circulation,” said French Minister of Digital Affairs Jean-Noël Barrot in an interview with Le Parisien. It said bringing the smartphone into compliance “requires a simple software update.” Apple has 15 days to comply.

Specifically, according to the French agency, the iPhone 12 exceeds by 1.74 W per kilogram (W/kg) the regulatory limit corresponding to the energy that can be absorbed by the human body when the phone is held upright. Contacted by AFP, Apple assured that the iPhone 12 is certified as meeting the standards defined worldwide by many international organizations.

Apple is fighting back

The Californian giant said it had provided ANFR with the results of independent laboratory studies conducted by third parties to demonstrate that its facilities met the standards. He plans to challenge the agency’s findings.

ANFR regularly reduces the transmission power of smartphones. Most of the time, after a formal notification, manufacturers plan to update their devices to avoid a marketing recall. But it’s a first for Apple. According to Jean-Noël Barrot, the withdrawal request could also be extended to the European market.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “there is currently no indication that exposure to low-intensity electromagnetic fields is dangerous to human health” and “despite much research”. Apple also unveiled its new line of smartphones on Tuesday night, the iPhone 15, which will integrate a universal USB-C charging port to comply with European regulations.

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