FCC Says iPhone Didn't Exceed Radiofrequency Radiation Safety Levels

iPhones from Apple and smartphones from Samsung did not violate FCC rules on maximum radiofrequency exposure levels, the FCC said today (via Bloomberg).

Back in August, an investigation launched by The Chicago Tribune suggested that some of Apple's iPhones were emitting radiofrequency radiation that exceeded federal safety limits.

The FCC's testing results for iPhone and other smartphones

The newspaper hired an accredited lab to test several smartphones, including Apple's iPhones, according to federal guidelines and found that some of Apple's iPhones violated federal guidelines.

Apple at the time disputed the results and said that the testing 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."

In response to the investigation, the FCC promised to do its own testing of smartphones from Apple and Samsung, and the FCC's testing disagrees with the findings from The Chicago Tribune.

The FCC tested the ‌iPhone‌ 7, the ‌iPhone‌ X, and the iPhone XS using models that were purchased from the open market and those provided by Apple. No FCC test showed the results that The Chicago Tribune got from its independent testing.

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 from the testing can be seen in the document released today by the FCC. [PDF]

After The Chicago Tribune's report went live, law firm Fegan Scott launched its own investigation and last week said that its laboratory also found that iPhones exceeded the federal safety limits for radiofrequency radiation.

Fegan Scott filed a lawsuit against Apple, claiming to use "actual use conditions" in its test, rather than "conditions set by manufacturers." The FCC modeled its testing after the testing done by The Chicago Tribune, evaluating the ‌iPhone‌ by using a fluid-filled head and body replica and testing RF absorption at the highest possible smartphone power levels.

The law firm did not provide details on its testing methods and it is not clear if the case will progress now that the FCC's research and testing has worked out in Apple's favor.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
10 months ago


perhaps the iPhones pass a specific test, but obviously they DO emit harmful radiation when kept close to the body. The iPhone hasn't been vindicated. It's still hazardous to hold it close regardless of what the FCC tests shows

Obviously? On what basis do you think this is so obvious? I have seen zero evidence to support any claim that iPhones emit ionizing radiation. (Because they don’t.)
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
10 months ago
Of course they don’t. Ridiculous premise.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
10 months ago


Crappy Intel modem in the iPhone XS emitting way too much.

Except it’s not.

Who wants to bet those idiotic lawyers don’t drop their lawsuit and will claim the FCC numbers are wrong?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
10 months ago
Main counterargument is it's in Apple's best interest to keep their customers healthy and living longer to buy more products. Pumping out hundreds of millions of radiation emitting devices would undercut that
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
10 months ago
My testicles say otherwise ...
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
10 months ago


Crappy Intel modem in the iPhone XS emitting way too much.

Post some evidence or don't post this nonsense.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Leaker: 'iPhone 12 mini' and iPhone 12 Storage Capacities Start at 64GB, Pro Models at 128GB

Tuesday September 29, 2020 2:31 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple's iPhone 12 launch event will be held on October 13, with the more affordable 5.4 and 6.1-inch devices set to ship out ahead of the more expensive 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch Pro devices, and this morning hit-and-miss leaker Jon Prosser has further committed to that date by providing alleged details on Apple's first shipment of finalized iPhone 12 units. Prosser claims the...

Hands-On With iOS 14.2's New Shazam Music Recognition Toggle in Control Center

Monday September 28, 2020 2:35 pm PDT by
Shortly after launching iOS 14, Apple introduced an upcoming iOS 14.2 update, which is now available to developers and public beta testers ahead of a public release that could come at some point in October. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The iOS 14.2 update mainly focuses on the Control Center, introducing a new Music Recognition toggle that deepens the Shazam...

Top Stories: iOS 14 Feature Tour, 'iPhone 12 mini' Rumors, Apple Watch Band Controversy

Saturday September 26, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
Things started to calm down a bit this week following last week's rush of media event, Apple Watch and iPad launches, and the release of iOS 14 and other operating updates. But that doesn't mean there wasn't still a lot of news, from digging deeper into iOS 14 to more iPhone 12 rumors to the uproar over trying to exchange band sizes on the new Apple Watch. On top of all of that, we heard...

DigiTimes: 12.9-inch Mini-LED iPad Pro Arriving Early 2021, Mini-LED MacBook Coming Later

Tuesday September 29, 2020 4:18 am PDT by
Apple will launch a 12.9-inch mini LED-backlit iPad Pro in early 2021 and a mini LED-backlit MacBook in the second-half of next year, according to DigiTimes. The Taiwan-based industry publication claims Epistar will supply the over-10,000 mini LEDs used in each iPad Pro tablet. Meanwhile, Apple is expected to recruit Osram Opto as another supplier of mini LEDs for use in a new "high-end"...

iPhone 12 May Launch Earlier Than Usual in South Korea

Monday September 28, 2020 5:24 am PDT by
The upcoming iPhone 12 lineup may launch earlier than usual in South Korea, reports The Korea Herald. South Korean telecoms firms speaking to The Korea Herald have said that the iPhone 12 lineup will launch ahead of its usual schedule. Normally, the release of new iPhones in South Korea comes about one month after launch in the United States. Last year, the iPhone 11 arrived in South Korea ...

iOS 14: 'Phoenix 2' Space Shooter Delivers Playable Demo via App Clips

Saturday September 26, 2020 2:08 pm PDT by
One of the new features that arrived in iOS 14 is called App Clips. App Clips is described by Apple to be a "small part of your app" that can be available to users at just the right moment.App Clips focus on finishing one task quickly. An ideal App Clip experience allows users to open and complete a task in seconds. Instead of requiring an App Store download, they can be loaded and run via...

Epic Games Unlikely to Win Injunction in Ongoing Fortnite Battle With Apple, Jury Trial Possible

Monday September 28, 2020 1:14 pm PDT by
The ongoing legal dispute between Apple and Epic Games continued on today, with a preliminary injunction hearing taking place this morning. We're still waiting to hear the judge's official ruling, but it looks like Epic is not going to be granted an injunction to allow Fortnite back into the App Store as the case unfolds. Many of the arguments that lawyers for Apple and Epic Games made were...

iPhone 12 Production Lines at Foxconn's Zhengzhou Factory in China Running '24 Hours a Day'

Tuesday September 29, 2020 3:38 am PDT by
Apple contract manufacturer Foxconn is running its massive Zhengzhou factory in China 24 hours a day to produce the new iPhone 12, according to Chinese media reports. Apple's main iPhone manufacturer in China is said to be cancelling workers' holidays and introducing mandatory overtime with additional bonuses for longer-serving staff, according to information garnered from employees,...

'iPhone 12 mini' Name Reappears in Leaked Apple iPhone 12 Case Stickers

Friday September 25, 2020 1:58 am PDT by
Earlier this week a proven leaker claimed that the iPhone 12 lineup would be named "iPhone 12 mini," "iPhone 12," "iPhone 12 Pro," and "iPhone 12 Pro Max," and today the same nomenclature has appeared again in a photo depicting alleged stickers from unreleased Silicone iPhone cases originating from Apple's international distribution center in Ireland. The photo shows three stickers with the...

Apple Releases iOS 14.0.1 With Fix for Bug That Resets Default Apps After Rebooting

Thursday September 24, 2020 10:12 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 14.0.1, the first update to the iOS 14 operating system that was released on September 16. Today's update is a bug fix update addressing issues that weren't able to be fixed in the initial iOS 14 launch. The iOS 14.0.1 update is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to Settings > General > Software Update. ...