The ANFR puts Apple on notice, ordering it to correct a problem with the iPhone 12 exceeding the maximum wave emission measurements. We take stock of the matter.
While everyone had their eyes on the iPhone 15 yesterday, the ANFR (the National Frequency Agency) decided to highlight another of Apple’s smartphones: the iPhone 12. Having noted an overrun of the specific absorption rate (SAR) limit of the smartphone, the body “ urges Apple to implement all available means to quickly remedy this malfunction “. But what does this mean?
What is DAS?
The Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) is an indicator used to evaluate the quantity of waves emitted by a device such as a smartphone. It is measured in different ways:
- At head level as during a conversation for… the DAS “head» ;
- in contact with the body for DAS “member»: equivalent to a telephone in a pocket or in a hand;
- at 5 mm for the DAS “trunk»: equivalent to a telephone found in the pocket of a jacket or a bag.
In France, the limits are set at 2W/kg for the head and trunk, and 4W/kg for the limbs. The ANFR regularly monitors commercially available devices and publishes its results on its website.
Why is the iPhone 12 pinned?
It was precisely during one of these checks, covering 141 different models, that the iPhone 12 showed itself to be a little too emitting. The ANFR specifies that the measurement for the trunk reaches 5.74 W/kg. Measures “head” And “trunk» did not present any irregularity.
For its part, Apple disputes this result and is currently in discussions with the authority in order to demonstrate its compliance by relying in particular on the results of independent third-party laboratories.
Why now ?
We can obviously wonder why it was necessary to wait three years for the iPhone 12 to be thus controlled and put on notice, the day when it naturally had to leave the official Apple store.
ANFR explains toBFMthat the test in question was carried out several months ago, but only published now, while Apple disputes the results. In the majority of cases, manufacturers choose to update their smartphones in order to reduce their transmitting power.
Furthermore, the deployment of 5G (and the resulting tests) seems to have particularly affected the ANFR schedule, causing it to delay certain tests, including that of the iPhone 12.
Is the iPhone 12 dangerous?
Voluntarily, the SAR levels imposed in Europe are well below the levels proven to be dangerous. Even at 5.74 W/kg, an iPhone 12 therefore has very little chance of being harmful to the health of its users, especially since its SAR “head” And “trunk» remains compliant.
The Minister Delegate in charge of the Digital Transition and Telecommunications, Jean-Noël Barrot, himself indicated that European standards are ten times lower than the emission level that could lead to consequences according to scientists.
What about the other iPhone 12s?
Only the iPhone 12 is affected by this issue. The other smartphones in the range (iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max) therefore do not present any SAR problem.
What next for Apple?
For the moment, the iPhone 12 is therefore prohibited from sale “in all distribution channels available in France“. Apple has obviously removed the phone from its store, as is the case with several resellers, including refurbishers.
Note that the iPhone 12 is still available on online marketplaces. This is still the case for example at the time of writing on Amazon, through European resellers. Sworn ANFR agents are currently responsible for verifying that the phone is indeed withdrawn from sale.
What about the iPhone 12s already sold?
Concerning the iPhone 12s which have already been sold, the ANFR orders Apple to “take corrective measures as soon as possible» in order to make the iPhone 12 compliant. Otherwise, and if Apple cannot prove its compliance, the iPhone 12 sold will have to be recalled within fifteen days.
Note that many manufacturers choose to simply update their affected products after a recall from the ANFR. This results in a drop in broadcast quality. If this drop is significant, we can imagine that Apple will then have to confront a certain number of dissatisfied users.
Otherwise, a reminder will result in compensation for those with an invoice or receipt. We imagine that this could represent a annoying expense for the brand. Verdict in a few days.