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iPhone 4 clears FCC

The iPhone 4 gets FCC approval with a SAR of 1.17 watts per kilogram.


On the day it was announced to the world, Apple's iPhone 4 cleared the Federal Communications Commission approval process. That means Apple can sell its latest handset in the United States.

It also means that now we have a specific absorption rate data for the phone. The FCC's Web site appears to be on the fritz for the moment, but, according to PhoneArena, the iPhone 4's highest at ear SAR rating for voice calls is 1.17 watts per kilogram (FCC ID BCG-E2380A). Once the FCC's Web site is back up, we'll peruse the documentation and confirm that number. CNET always lists the highest at ear SAR rating for voice calls in our cell phone radiation charts.

For anyone keeping score, the iPhone 4's SAR is higher than the iPhone 3GS (0.79 watts per kilogram) and the original iPhone (0.974 watts per kilogram), but lower than the iPhone 3G (1.38 watts per kilogram). For a phone to pass FCC certification and be sold in the United States, its maximum SAR level--a measure of radio frequency energy that is absorbed by the body--must be less than 1.6 watts per kilogram. A lower SAR means that a phone is putting out less radio frequency energy.

It's no coincidence that the iPhone 4 won approval on June 7 when Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced the handset at his WWDC keynote. The FCC had been testing the phone prior to that date, but Apple filed a confidentiality request that kept it under wraps.

Updated June 10 at 10:00 a.m. PDT: The documentation on the FCC's Web site confirms the iPhone 4's highest SAR at 1.17 w/kg.