FCC retest vindicates Apple on iPhone RF exposure claims

Posted:
in iPhone edited December 2019
The iPhone complies with U.S. standards for RF exposure, the FCC has confirmed after performing a battery of tests on the smartphone. Regulators promised to evaluate Apple's handset following an August report by the Chicago Tribune claiming that the model breaches consumer safety rules.

A cellphone tower collection.
A cellphone tower collection.


In August, it was claimed by independent testing conducted by the Chicago Tribune that there was an issue with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8, with regards to radio frequency broadcasts. Performed by the RF Exposure Lab, the tests showed iPhone 7 exceeded the amount of exposure the FCC permits devices to expose to a user, by a considerable margin.

The retest, conducted by the FCC, included a mix of devices supplied by Apple and Samsung, as well as others purchased by the FCC. Testing was performed between Aug. 30 and Sept. 23.

All of the devices tested at the FCC's own lab -- not a contractor -- were under the maximum legal limit of 1.6 watts per kilogram or less, over 1 gram of tissue that is absorbing the most signal. The legal limit is derived from a safe limit, which is about 50 times higher.

Test results, via the FCC
Test results, via the FCC


The previous testing commissioned by the newspaper measured levels between 2.5 watts per kilogram and 2.81 watts per kilogram, far above the legal limit for exposure.

At the time of the original test, Apple took issue with the results and in a statement said the results "were inaccurate due to the test setup not being in accordance with procedures necessary to properly assess the iPhone models." Apple added that "all models are fully certified by the FCC and counterparts in other countries where iPhones are sold, with Apple further proclaiming "we are in compliance and meet all applicable exposure guidelines and limits."

«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27

    How surprising !!

    StrangeDayswatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 2 of 27
    Yeah I'm sure a random 3rd party test shop would pick up something that every other RF certification process worldwide would have missed. /s
    chiaDAalsethFileMakerFellerjbdragonpscooter63acheron2018watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 3 of 27
    Maybe Apple would have a slander case against the newspaper. I would not take too kindly an article which was false and could lead to scarring my reputation and possibly resulting in lost income.
    mac_dogagilealtitudejbdragonviclauyycwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 4 of 27
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 1,711member
    MisterKit said:
    Maybe Apple would have a slander case against the newspaper. I would not take too kindly an article which was false and could lead to scarring my reputation and possibly resulting in lost income.
    Probably not against the newspaper. Freedom of speech and the press would likely quash that. But if someone brought the story to the paper’s attention I suppose Apple might be able to go after them. What I mean is if John Doe concocts the bogus tests for whatever reason (to get his name out as a researcher, to promote his lab, to lay groundwork for a suit against Apple, etc.,) and gives the story to the paper then he, rather than the paper, might be on the hook. But it would be hard to prove.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 27
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,449member

    DAalseth said:
    MisterKit said:
    Maybe Apple would have a slander case against the newspaper. I would not take too kindly an article which was false and could lead to scarring my reputation and possibly resulting in lost income.
    Probably not against the newspaper. Freedom of speech and the press would likely quash that. But if someone brought the story to the paper’s attention I suppose Apple might be able to go after them. What I mean is if John Doe concocts the bogus tests for whatever reason (to get his name out as a researcher, to promote his lab, to lay groundwork for a suit against Apple, etc.,) and gives the story to the paper then he, rather than the paper, might be on the hook. But it would be hard to prove.
    So what about the class action filed against Apple for this?

    https://www.classaction.org/news/radiofrequency-radiation-emitted-by-apple-iphone-samsung-galaxy-increases-cancer-risk-class-action-alleges

    The suit claims Apple and Samsung devices exceed allowable emissions. Now the FCC says otherwise about Apple at least. Will the lawyers still extract $millions from Apple?
    watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 6 of 27
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,807member
    I’m curious about what prompted the Chicago Tribune to launch an independent investigation into the RF emissions from iPhones and other model phones. Did they have some anecdotal evidence of someone being negatively affected by use of an iPhone? Were they trying to quash some of the pseudoscience reports of people growing watermelon sized tumors on the side of their heads from using cellphones? Or were they on on a fishing expedition to dig up dirt against Apple and other cellphone makers?

    Whatever their motivation, they succeeded in making themselves look foolish by hiring an incompetent test lab and not verifying the results with at least one additional independent test lab before going public with claims based on faulty tests. This is a good lesson that demonstrates how bad science coupled with a lack of independent verification leads to public embarrassment. 

    I’m sure they’ll publish a retraction, most likely around page 26 of their paper, somewhere mixed in with all the ads for driveway plowing services. 
    FileMakerFellerstompyEsquireCatsacheron2018watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 7 of 27
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 1,711member
    lkrupp said:

    DAalseth said:
    MisterKit said:
    Maybe Apple would have a slander case against the newspaper. I would not take too kindly an article which was false and could lead to scarring my reputation and possibly resulting in lost income.
    Probably not against the newspaper. Freedom of speech and the press would likely quash that. But if someone brought the story to the paper’s attention I suppose Apple might be able to go after them. What I mean is if John Doe concocts the bogus tests for whatever reason (to get his name out as a researcher, to promote his lab, to lay groundwork for a suit against Apple, etc.,) and gives the story to the paper then he, rather than the paper, might be on the hook. But it would be hard to prove.
    So what about the class action filed against Apple for this?

    https://www.classaction.org/news/radiofrequency-radiation-emitted-by-apple-iphone-samsung-galaxy-increases-cancer-risk-class-action-alleges

    The suit claims Apple and Samsung devices exceed allowable emissions. Now the FCC says otherwise about Apple at least. Will the lawyers still extract $millions from Apple?
    Simple answer is no. The FCC tests are the conclusive proof that should get the case thrown out with prejudice. My guess is the suit will quietly disappear before the plaintiffs spend any more money on legal fees. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 27
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,727member
    Chicago Tribune should be fined/sued for publish unsubstantiated information.

    It's one thing to find a legitimate problem and have it worked-out properly, than to do what the Tribune did was to splash click-bait that Apple is killing brain cells without any proof.  It did it knowing it would get ad-revenue.

    The same thing should have been done with Bloomberg after publishing that nonsense Chinese-tracking article about SuperMicro.
    edited December 2019 macseekerpscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 27
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,807member
    DAalseth said:
    lkrupp said:

    DAalseth said:
    MisterKit said:
    Maybe Apple would have a slander case against the newspaper. I would not take too kindly an article which was false and could lead to scarring my reputation and possibly resulting in lost income.
    Probably not against the newspaper. Freedom of speech and the press would likely quash that. But if someone brought the story to the paper’s attention I suppose Apple might be able to go after them. What I mean is if John Doe concocts the bogus tests for whatever reason (to get his name out as a researcher, to promote his lab, to lay groundwork for a suit against Apple, etc.,) and gives the story to the paper then he, rather than the paper, might be on the hook. But it would be hard to prove.
    So what about the class action filed against Apple for this?

    https://www.classaction.org/news/radiofrequency-radiation-emitted-by-apple-iphone-samsung-galaxy-increases-cancer-risk-class-action-alleges

    The suit claims Apple and Samsung devices exceed allowable emissions. Now the FCC says otherwise about Apple at least. Will the lawyers still extract $millions from Apple?
    Simple answer is no. The FCC tests are the conclusive proof that should get the case thrown out with prejudice. My guess is the suit will quietly disappear before the plaintiffs spend any more money on legal fees. 
    This is a classic case of misinformation going viral. No matter what the FCC says at this point or in the future the narrative that “iPhones are frying our brains and making males sterile” is already burned into the read-only memory of people who wanted to believe the Chicago Tribune’s flawed story. Belief, like faith, is immune to scientific evidence and scrutiny. 

    When I read back through the Tribune's original story it looks like they started off with good, but in retrospect overly lofty, intentions. What happened after they found what they thought was a “smoking gun” is where things went horribly wrong. At that point they ceased to apply reasonable levels of critical thinking and skepticism - two things that provides the necessary negative feedback loop that prevents runaway amplification of the input signal, I.e., the smoking gun narrative. To make matters worse they also got caught up in the celebrity that followed with other publications repeating their story, the FCC saying that they’d look into it, and of course the class action lawsuits. 

    Is this bad journalism or just people being people? I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and say that they fell into a classic cognitive fallacy trap that we’ve all fallen into at one time or another. Engaging a second independent test lab to corroborate the results could have provided the required negative feedback loop. Apple attempted to provide negative feedback by questioning their methodology but the Tribune chose to brush it off and insinuate that Apple’s lack of response to certain inquiries were positive feedback. With insufficient negative feedback and the heightened sense of celebrity by the initiators of the narrative, the story went open loop, I.e., viral.

    When something like this goes open loop it can reach such high levels of absurdity that trying to roll it all the way back to the truth using logic and reason can be extremely difficult.
    pscooter6313485watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 27
    flydogflydog Posts: 1,005member
    MisterKit said:
    Maybe Apple would have a slander case against the newspaper. I would not take too kindly an article which was false and could lead to scarring my reputation and possibly resulting in lost income.
    First, that would be libel, not slander. 

    Second, if the report was true then it is not libel. There is nothing here to suggest that the newspaper fabricated the test results. It merely published the actual results. 
    dewme
  • Reply 11 of 27
    DAalseth said:
    MisterKit said:
    Maybe Apple would have a slander case against the newspaper. I would not take too kindly an article which was false and could lead to scarring my reputation and possibly resulting in lost income.
    Probably not against the newspaper. Freedom of speech and the press would likely quash that. But if someone brought the story to the paper’s attention I suppose Apple might be able to go after them. What I mean is if John Doe concocts the bogus tests for whatever reason (to get his name out as a researcher, to promote his lab, to lay groundwork for a suit against Apple, etc.,) and gives the story to the paper then he, rather than the paper, might be on the hook. But it would be hard to prove.
    The press has no freedom from slander. They never have. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 27
    1st1st Posts: 443member
    wondering which test lab the press used - FCC test is std test that certify lab should be familiar with it and execute without such an error. 2nd question, why the press select a lab that appear to be non-std.... especially with non-compliance result, usually you immediately asking for 3rd party validation of the result - such as authority Lab of FCC, rather than go to public directly. Something are out of normalty here... IMHO. (try to catch eye balls? etc.etc.)
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 27
    Yeah I'm sure a random 3rd party test shop would pick up something that every other RF certification process worldwide would have missed. /s
    Well, they won't, but it did generate a lot of clicks for the Chicago Tribune, did it not? 
    Well, that might be the only reason why they published it! The fact that the measurements were/could have been done very sloppy or incorrectly, matters not. An average reader will grab the article title and run with it. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 27

    klink172 said:
    DAalseth said:
    MisterKit said:
    Maybe Apple would have a slander case against the newspaper. I would not take too kindly an article which was false and could lead to scarring my reputation and possibly resulting in lost income.
    Probably not against the newspaper. Freedom of speech and the press would likely quash that. But if someone brought the story to the paper’s attention I suppose Apple might be able to go after them. What I mean is if John Doe concocts the bogus tests for whatever reason (to get his name out as a researcher, to promote his lab, to lay groundwork for a suit against Apple, etc.,) and gives the story to the paper then he, rather than the paper, might be on the hook. But it would be hard to prove.
    The press has no freedom from slander. They never have. 
    In this case would be very hard to prove. For slander you need to show that they did that on purpose, rather than it just being "sloppy job" as one famous dude recently put it.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 27
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,243member
    sflocal said:
    Chicago Tribune should be fined/sued for publish unsubstantiated information.

    It's one thing to find a legitimate problem and have it worked-out properly, than to do what the Tribune did was to splash click-bait that Apple is killing brain cells without any proof.  It did it knowing it would get ad-revenue.

    The same thing should have been done with Bloomberg after publishing that nonsense Chinese-tracking article about SuperMicro.
    1st said:
    wondering which test lab the press used - FCC test is std test that certify lab should be familiar with it and execute without such an error. 2nd question, why the press select a lab that appear to be non-std.... especially with non-compliance result, usually you immediately asking for 3rd party validation of the result - such as authority Lab of FCC, rather than go to public directly. Something are out of normalty here... IMHO. (try to catch eye balls? etc.etc.)
    The Chicago Trib used an independent lab and published the results and the protocol used as well as the lab's name. How would you claim that their information is unsubstantiated, slanderous or libelous? unless you have evidence that either the paper or the lab intentionally manipulated the results I can't see any basis.

     If the protocol is standardized, the results should be reproducible. It's common practice to have an independent lab verify data, so the real question is why the results are so disparate. 
    dewme
  • Reply 16 of 27
    rain22rain22 Posts: 132member
    “Phones supplied by Apple...”
    Right there I don’t trust these new findings. Apple could have tampered with the phones it supplied. 
    I would like to see a random phone off the street tested with the original firmware. 
    After the VW diesel scandal - I don’t put anything past MN Corporations.
  • Reply 17 of 27
    rain22 said:
    “Phones supplied by Apple...”
    Right there I don’t trust these new findings. Apple could have tampered with the phones it supplied. 
    I would like to see a random phone off the street tested with the original firmware. 
    After the VW diesel scandal - I don’t put anything past MN Corporations.

    The problem with your conspiracy theory is that even if the phones were sourced by taking random samples from the population, you’d still find a way of claiming Apple stitched them up. (Remember the defeat device software was installed on all vehicles.)

    But there is good news; Even if Apple did this incredibly stupid, illegal and easy to prove substitution as you’re suggesting: the values recorded by the 3rd party lab well still well within the safe range for exposure.
    The VW dieselgate scandal was x40 the artificially suppressed value and was exposed through what can be described as typically expected additional on road testing for a vehicle making such claims (and receiving tax breaks.)
    pscooter63
  • Reply 18 of 27
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    DAalseth said:
    lkrupp said:

    DAalseth said:
    MisterKit said:
    Maybe Apple would have a slander case against the newspaper. I would not take too kindly an article which was false and could lead to scarring my reputation and possibly resulting in lost income.
    Probably not against the newspaper. Freedom of speech and the press would likely quash that. But if someone brought the story to the paper’s attention I suppose Apple might be able to go after them. What I mean is if John Doe concocts the bogus tests for whatever reason (to get his name out as a researcher, to promote his lab, to lay groundwork for a suit against Apple, etc.,) and gives the story to the paper then he, rather than the paper, might be on the hook. But it would be hard to prove.
    So what about the class action filed against Apple for this?

    https://www.classaction.org/news/radiofrequency-radiation-emitted-by-apple-iphone-samsung-galaxy-increases-cancer-risk-class-action-alleges

    The suit claims Apple and Samsung devices exceed allowable emissions. Now the FCC says otherwise about Apple at least. Will the lawyers still extract $millions from Apple?
    Simple answer is no. The FCC tests are the conclusive proof that should get the case thrown out with prejudice. My guess is the suit will quietly disappear before the plaintiffs spend any more money on legal fees. 
    Well, my guess is that this was started by the usual shady law firm who then went out looking for 'plaintiffs' to bring the case. Had they won, then the 'plaintiffs' would have got a token couple of dollars for their trouble, while the shady law firm would have pocketed millions.

    So, the only cost so far was a few hours spent typing up the complaint.

    Apple, on the other hand, has probably spent tens of thousands testing hardware to make sure the claim wasn't true
  • Reply 19 of 27
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member

    rain22 said:
    “Phones supplied by Apple...”
    Right there I don’t trust these new findings. Apple could have tampered with the phones it supplied. 
    I would like to see a random phone off the street tested with the original firmware. 
    After the VW diesel scandal - I don’t put anything past MN Corporations.

    Yeah, that would be pointless, because even if they used random phones, you would still insist that Apple had 'somehow' tampered with the phone under test. Perhaps they're running some clever software that dials back the emissions when the phone realises it is being tested? Is that what you're looking for? You can always find a tin-foil-hat conspiracy if you look hard enough.

  • Reply 20 of 27
    macguimacgui Posts: 2,041member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Apple, on the other hand, has probably spent tens of thousands testing hardware to make sure the claim wasn't true
    I haven't seen anything to indicate that Apple started any additional testing because of the lawsuit. Maybe they did, maybe they didn't.

    But they certainly did prior to getting the phones certified compliant, so they could get them certified certified.
Sign In or Register to comment.