Belgium Reviews iPhone 12 After French Ban Over Radiation Concerns

A view of Apple's store after the sale of iPhone 12 model phones is banned in Paris

Mohamad Salaheldin Abdelg Alsayed / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Belgium said on Thursday it will review the Apple (APPL) iPhone 12's potential health risks tied to radiation, shortly after France flagged the concern and halted sales of the smartphone model. Both countries' actions may lead to other European countries following suit.

Key Takeaways

  • Following a sales halt by France, Belgium has flagged concerns about the Apple iPhone 12's radiation levels.
  • Though Apple contests the findings, French regulatory authorities have banned the iPhone 12 after tests showed that the model emitted radiation beyond set permissible limits.
  • The Netherlands, Spain, and Germany have raised similar concerns about the Apple iPhone 12.
  • Europe is Apple's second-largest market and earned the tech giant $95 billion in revenue last year.

France's radiation watchdog, Agence Nationale des Frequences (ANFR), banned sales of the older iPhone model after tests showed it emitted radiation beyond the legal exposure limits set by European Union (EU) authorities.

Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) measures the rate of radiofrequency energy being absorbed by the body from the source being measured, such as a cell phone. ANFR said earlier this week that the iPhone 12's SAR was more than legally permitted.

ANFR plans to ensure that no iPhone 12 is sold at French Apple stores or other distributors. If Apple doesn't resolve the issue, it may be forced to recall the model across France.

However, Apple is contesting the findings, saying that the 2020 model complies with global radiation standards, based on the certifications of international bodies and third-party lab results.

The red flag raised by the French may result in other iPhone 12 bans in Europe, although Italy said it doesn't plan to take additional steps at the moment.

Belgium's state secretary for digitalization, Mathieu Michel, has reached out to its national regulator IBPT-BIPT for an assessment of iPhone 12's health risks, and requested a separate review of all of Apple's smartphones as well as devices by other manufacturers later.

Dutch, German, and Spanish authorities are concerned as well. The Dutch digital watchdog is looking into the French report, as is the German network regulator BNetzA. Spain's consumer group OCU has requested that authorities stop iPhone 12 sales.

Though a breakdown of data by country isn't available, it is estimated that about 50 million iPhones were sold in Europe last year. In terms of revenue, Europe is second only to the Americas for Apple, bringing in about $95 billion last year, according to a Reuters report.

Apple shares were up about 1% in midday trading Thursday.

Do you have a news tip for Investopedia reporters? Please email us at
Article Sources
Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
  1. Reuters. "Belgium Reviews Apple's iPhone 12 After France Halts Sales Over Radiation."

  2. Reuters. "Explainer: Why Has France Banned Sales of Apple's iPhone 12?"

  3. Federal Communications Commission. "Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) For Cell Phones: What It Means For You."

  4. Reuters. "Apple Disputes French Findings, Says iPhone 12 Meets Radiation Rules."

  5. Reuters. "Dutch Watchdog Seeks Apple Explanation on French iPhone12 Radiation Tests, Media Report."

Take the Next Step to Invest
The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Investopedia receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where listings appear. Investopedia does not include all offers available in the marketplace.