FCC Retest Clears Apple on iPhone RF Exposure Claims

FCC Retest Clears Apple on iPhone RF Exposure Claims

The FCC announced today that Apple’s iPhones and smartphones from Samsung did not violate FCC rules on maximum radiofrequency exposure levels.

An investigation back in August financed by The Chicago Tribune indicated some of Apple’s iPhone were emitting radiofrequency radiation that exceeded federal safety limits.

The publication hired an accredited lab to test several smartphones – including iPhones from Apple and smartphones from Samsung – and found that some of those devices violated federal guidelines for radiofrequency radiation.

Apple disputed the results of that testing, saying it was inaccurate “due to the test setup not being in accordance with procedures necessary to properly assess the ‌‌iPhone‌‌ models.”

“All ‌‌‌iPhone‌‌‌ models, including ‌‌‌iPhone‌‌‌ 7, are fully certified by the FCC and in every other country where ‌‌‌iPhone‌‌‌ is sold,” the statement said. “After careful review and subsequent validation of all ‌‌‌iPhone‌‌‌ models tested in the (Tribune) report, we confirmed we are in compliance and meet all applicable … exposure guidelines and limits.”

Following the reports of the testing, the FCC announced it would do its own testing of smartphones from both Apple and Samsung. The FCC’s test results disagreed with the results of the independent testing.

The FCC’s testing of the iPhone 7, iPhone X, and iPhone XS was performed on models purchased from the open market as well as models provided by Apple.

All sample cell phones tested by the FCC Laboratory, both grantee-provided and FCC- purchased samples, produced maximum 1-g average SAR values less than the 1.6 W/kg limit specified in the FCC rules. Therefore, all tested sample devices comply with the FCC RF radiation exposure general population/uncontrolled limits for peak spatial-average SAR of 1.6 W/kg, averaged over any 1 gram of tissue as specified in 47 CFR Sn. 2.1093(d)(2), and these tests did not produce evidence of violations of any FCC rules regarding maximum RF exposure levels.

Full results of the FCC testing can be read in this PDF.

After The Chicago Tribune’s report was published, it didn’t take long for a law firm to take action. Law firm Fegan Scott launched its own investigation, and reported last week that its testing also found the iPhones exceeded the radiofrequency radiation safety limits.

As could be expected, Fegan Scott filed a lawsuit against Apple, claiming to use “actual use conditions” in its test, rather than “conditions set by manufacturers.” The law firm did not offer details on its testing methods, and it isn’t clear how the case will proceed now that the FCC has released test results rebutting the original test results.