Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Did Steve Jobs break the law?

Yes its the iPhone, yes they will sell lots of them and yes, its aaages before they are released outside the USA but did Steve Jobs, just break the law in his keynote speech?

With usual gusto and 'boom', Steve was keen to show off his new toy and entice us away from our iPods to crave after his latest gadget but he may of gone just a little bit too far...

As I watched the Keynote, I noticed that Mr Jobs appeared to place a few calls on the new handset but according to Apple's own website, he might of fallen foul of telecommunication protocols.

According to the Apple website, the phone "has not been authorized as required by the rules of the Federal Communications Commission' The website then goes on to point out that, as a result of this lack of authorisation, the handset may not be sold or leased. The burning question must be does it carry the appropriate FCC certificate to be operated or are they waiting on that too?

I'm sure that Apple wouldn't drop such a clanger as to break the law, blatantly infront of 4000 spectators and then webcast the event further afield to pent up bloggers such as myself but who knows, maybe in all the fuss, something was overlooked? (conspiracy theorists awake!)

On a slightly more serious note, if Apple are to face court proceedings surrounding their new mobile, its more likely to be in the civil courts between Apple and Cisco who seem to already have an 'iPhone' on the market... hmmm the future may not be quite so bright for the Apple handset in the short term.

***EDIT: A few people who work in the mobile industry have commented that phones can be tested in this way and that FCC compliance seems only to be required once the device is intended to be sold so I suspect that if this is the case... No laws were broken at all. I also have it on good authority that Apple and Cisco are close to brokering a deal on the iPhone name too!***


Anonymous said...

I honestly do not think that much of what we saw today was the real iPhone. I am led to believe that everything from the phone calls to the satellite maps was all carefully planned, downloaded, packaged, and arranged as to prevent something from going on. I don't think that one of the calls made in that room today was legit. As such, they did not break the law regarding FCC. Nor is it false advertising, for the product millions of people end up buying will do everything Steve showed today, yet in a much less "science-lab" sense.

Anonymous said...

Come on... That's just silly. How do you think phones are developed? do you think they wait around for the FCC to approve their designs before they even TRY to see if they work?

Paul Hurst said...

I'm no expert in these matters but I suspect that prototype handsets are tested in a much more efficient and rigorous ways rather than a person using them to make a call. I would have thought that this would be the very last step of the development process, possibly taken after FCC compliance has been granted?

Signal strength and transmission are probably tested in various ways using finely tuned machines long before anyone actually uses the handset.

As such, I just wonder if FCC compliance would be required for what happened yesterday. There will certainly be some degree required, the degree that acknowledges that the prototypes don't interfere with certain pieces of medial equipment such as pacemakers and that the device accepts certain types of interference too.

I honestly don't think its a "silly" point, even though I make it lightly.

Steve Saul said...

I do like the look of the phone, but at over £200 it's very expensive.
I do expect it to revolutionise mobile telephone communications industry, look at the iPod, others have to tried to copy it.
If the new touch screen technology is as impressive as reported, they could be on to something.