WARNING: Got an iPhone 12? It's just been banned for radiation issues

A collage of iPhone 12 handsets with the radioactive warning sign displayed on screen

This probably wasn't the headline that Apple wanted this week, as France has issued a ban on the iPhone 12 after it was found to exceed radiation limits.

With the eyes of the world on Apple, in the midst of the blockbuster launch of the

, news came that the company has been ordered to stop selling the iPhone 12 in France (launched in 2020) with immediate effect. 

• The iPhone 12 still ranks in our best iPhones for photography guide!

As reported by Mobile World Live, according to France's National Frequency Agency (ANFR), the iPhone 12 exceeds the European Union's limits on electromagnetic radiation. 

"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," wrote the outlet

The Agency lab tested 141 phones to check their compliance with SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) limits, which indicate the amount of electromagnetic emissions that the human body absorbs from mobile devices.

"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."

The story notes that Apple contests the claims, insisting that (unnamed) standards bodies had tested and verified that the iPhone 12 complies with all global limits on radiation. 

Either way, this raises an interesting quandary. If the phone does indeed break the European Union's radiation standards (and it's pretty hard to argue with a government agency that specializes in this area), this would mean that it won't just be pulled from sale in France – but potentially all across Europe as a whole. 

Not the end of the world for a phone from 2020, perhaps. However, if it turns out that other Apple phones – such as the iPhone 15 – also violate radiation limits, this could be a much bigger problem than anticipated. 

If you're sick of iPhones, check out the best camera phones from all brands – and don't forget the best budget camera phones and the best burner phones!

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.