FCC loosens labeling restrictions for iPhones and other devices

By , Jul 13, 2014

iphone rear id

This is kind of interesting. The FCC’s Office of Engineering & Technology issued new labeling guidance on Friday, saying that manufacturers can do away with the awful FCC ID etchings found on the backs of iPhones and other devices with integral screens.

Until now, the FCC has asked that any equipment requiring FCC certification sport a nameplate or etched label listing its FCC ID and other info. But with devices getting smaller and more complex, it wanted to update the requirement for the digital age… 

Multichannel points to the new guidance document:

In many instances, it is not practically feasible or appropriate to place a permanent legible label on the device. Many consumer devices have very small surface areas for a label, or when etched on the surface, the labeling may cause damage or require very expensive techniques. In such instances, the rules permit the Commission to approve alternative means of displaying the required information.4 The rules already permit devices approved as software-defined radios and modular transmitters to display compliance information electronically through a display where available.5

So essentially, the FCC is saying that Apple may soon be able to remove those ugly hieroglyphs from the back of its iPhones and simply display the information in its iOS software somewhere. A likely spot would be in the General section of the stock Settings app.

According to the document, the FCC still requires that users be able to access the info in no more than three steps in a device’s menu. It also cannot require a special access code or hardware (such as a SIM card), and users must be instructed on how to find it.

Nebraska Senator (R) Deb Fischer applauded the FCC’s new guidelines, but suggested a bill was still needed to ensure adoption across the board. “As the sponsor of the bipartisan E-LABEL Act with Chairman Rockefeller, I welcome the FCC’s timely guidance.”

Of course there’s no word on when Apple intends to implement the change.

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  • Joostiphone

    Good news! I think in the settings->general could be a nice place for this, just like Cody says.

    Now lets hope they didn’t al ready started the production of the iPhone 6 with this text.

    • patrick

      It’s already there
      Settings>general>About>legal>regulatory

      • http://androidsucks.com Nihas Nebas

        “…FCC still requires that users be able to access the info in no more than three steps in a device’s menu”

    • deepdvd

      The problem with that location is “It also cannot require a special access code.” I wonder how they will do this if you have a passcode/TouchID lock?

      • blu

        Well, as the user with the passcode/TouchID, you can access it.

        I would guess they are referring to a special code you could only get from a provider or manufacturer.

      • deepdvd

        Yeah, I guess “special” is the key word there. I didn’t think about that. That’s good then. All Apple has to do then is reduce the number of steps.

  • onesimpleclik

    Android phones have had this feature for years.
    Settings > About phone > Regulatory information.
    Why hasn’t Apple been doing the same?

    • Zaidan Umar

      Read the second line…it was issued on friday -.-

  • Sandeep Roy

    Nice, if included within Settings or About. Also need to include SAR values there @Cody as those are always tough to Discover for a purchase decision.

    • Kyle

      They’re also in the mentioned sub-menu.

      • Sandeep Roy

        If i remember correctly, there’s only a website link for SAR. Should be clearly stated as all retail outlets don’t permit usage of their network to check.

  • http://www.twitter.com/IDGAFViBeLuXUrY Vanessa Bitez

    Explains why we haven’t seen any FCC iPhone 6 models

    • John

      Why? You think Apple knew about this before Friday, filed the appropriate documentation and had it all approved before the official announcement?

    • Jeffrey Feuerstein

      No, test iPhone models never include those FCC prints.

  • Ricky

    nah, i kinda like how the iPhone’s back looks like with all those crowded FCC label and other. If those label aren’t there, it feels emptier

    • John

      Mmm, I kinda get what you’re saying. I wonder if Apple will replace that space with anything else.

      • Kyle

        Yeah maybe with quotes from Steve Jobs lol.

      • Jeffrey Feuerstein

        Ofcourse not, why would they? ‘Less is better’.

  • MPD01605

    So the only thing that will change is the FCC logo and FCC ID are (maybe) removed. Everything else will still need to stay per Canadian or EU laws so the change effectively means nothing for at least the iPhone unless other regulatory bodies follow suit.

  • Matta Fakt

    Too bad this didn’t happen before the iPhone 5C came out. We all know how the back of them look with an Apple case on them.

  • Brian 

    iPhone 6! iPhone 6!

    • Jeffrey Feuerstein

      Nope, I think the iPhone 6 production already started. I think the iPhone 6s will be the first iPhone without those markings.