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Apple, Samsung Sued over Handset RF Emissions

However, Samsung was yet to react to the developments

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Customers walk past an Apple logo inside of an Apple store at Grand Central Station in New York, Aug. 1, 2018. VOA

Tech giants Apple and Samsung have been sued in the US over harmful radio frequency (RF) exposure their smartphones may be emitting.

The class-action suit, filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, claims RF radiation emitted from Apple and Samsung smartphones “exceed legal limits set forth by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)”, Apple Insider reported on Saturday.

The devices mentioned in the suit are Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 and iPhone X, and Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note8.

A separate investigation by Chicago Tribune also found that “radio-frequency radiation exposure from the iPhone 7 measured over the legal safety limit and more than double against what Apple had reported to federal regulators from its own testing”.

“Numerous recent scientific publications, supported by hundreds of scientists worldwide, have shown that RF radiation exposure affects living organisms at levels well below most international and national guidelines,” read the court filing.

“Effects include increased cancer risk, cellular stress, increase in harmful free radicals, genetic damages, structural and functional changes of the reproductive system, learning and memory deficits, neurological disorders and negative impacts on general well-being in humans,” the lawsuit elaborated.

There is confusion about the meaning of the maximum reported Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) values for cell phones (and other wireless devices).

SAR is a measure of the rate of RF energy absorption by the body from the source being measured – in this case, a cell phone, said FCC guidelines.

samsung, better selfie camera
Samsung declined to disclose its sales target for the new Note series, but said it expected to achieve higher sales volume than the predecessor Note 9 models. Pixabay

“Many people mistakenly assume that using a cell phone with a lower reported SAR value necessarily decreases a user’s exposure to RF emissions, or is somehow ‘safer’ than using a cell phone with a high SAR value,” the FCC said.

The FCC set the safety limit at 1.6 watts per kilogram (1.6W/kg), averaged over 1 gram of tissue.

Plaintiffs argued that Apple “covered up any risks by misrepresenting the safety of the smartphones”.

Earlier, Apple had declared RF exposure information, including Specific Absorption Rate (SAR), but “the company stopped furnishing such information with the release of the iPhone 7”, they argued.

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According to Apple, “all iPhone models, including iPhone 7, are fully certified by the FCC and in every other country where iPhone is sold”.

“We are in compliance and meet all applicable exposure guidelines and limits,” said Apple.

However, Samsung was yet to react to the developments. (IANS)

Next Story

Realme, Samsung Have Lowest Return Rates Among All Smartphone Brands in India

When it comes to reliability, Realme users rank their smartphones high (90 per cent), followed by Samsung (88 per cent) and Vivo (87 per cent)

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samsung
To get ahead in the fast-changing tech industry, Samsung said it will expand investment in burgeoning tech segments to propel growth. Wikimedia Commons

Chinese handset maker Realme and South Korean major Samsung have the lowest return rates among all smartphone brands in India, a survey by CyberMedia Research (CMR) said on Thursday.

The “CMR MICI” survey that included 4,000 smartphone owners across top eight Indian cities, focused on smartphone purchase process, key smartphone specs of priority, as well as issues with post-sales service, including repairs or replacements.

“The return rates in smartphone brands provide a measure of consumer satisfaction with their current brand and, in turn, implies that the brands have been able to excel in meeting consumer expectations. Our survey findings report the lowest return rate for brands, such as Realme and Samsung, in comparison to the prevailing industry average,” Prabhu Ram, Head-Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR, said in a statement.

The lowest return rates are determined by the first visit to the brand’s service centre within the first six months of purchase, for either repair or replacement, by both online as well as offline buyers.

Around three per cent of the total smartphone users visited a service centre for the first time within the first six months of their smartphone purchase, during the in-warranty period.

Realme, Online, Smartphone
Armed with a quad camera-system smartphone in every price segment along with an investment worth Rs 300 crore for its surface-mount technology (SMT) lines, Chinese handset maker Realme aims. Pixabay

When it comes to looks, design and feel, users of Vivo are most satisfied (99 per cent), followed by OPPO and Realme users (98 per cent each), and at third place, Xiaomi with 97 per cent satisfaction.

Across smartphone brands, users are excited about the design aesthetics, camera performance and build quality that phones sport across price bands.

Users indicated more satisfaction with intangible factors that they associate with their smartphones, including reliability and performance.

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“In order to win consumer mindset, smartphone brands need to invest in getting not just product design and product quality right, but they must ensure overall brand experience, and service quality right,” Ram added.

When it comes to reliability, Realme users rank their smartphones high (90 per cent), followed by Samsung (88 per cent) and Vivo (87 per cent). (IANS)