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Apple Tells FCC: There's more to the iPhone than the Public Knows

Apple tells the FCC that there's more to the iPhone than the public knows and wants them to commit to a 45 day short term confidentiality that will freeze internal photos of the iPhone 4. What could Apple be holding back? Apple's FCC letter is enclosed in this report for your review.

Apple to FCC: Formal Short & Long Term Confidentiality Request

Note this specific Apple statement below: "Although Apple has begun to market the device publicly, these documents reveal technical and design information that has not been publically disclosed in such marketing and that is protected by Apple as confidential and proprietary secrets."

2 - Apple's FCC letter 

Also Enclosed in the FCC Document: Regulatory Label for iPhone 4

3 - FCC regulatory label for iPhone 4 

The information noted above was obtained from the FCC document BCG – E 2380A dated June 7, 2010 and just recently revealed. 

Yesterday, MacRumors pointed to a recent WWDC session that revealed that the iPhone 4 would sport 512 MB RAM. If that point pans out, then that would confirm Apple's main point made to the FCC. Yet the question that begs to be asked is: What other technical details could Apple be holding back from the public prior to release? Do you have any ideas? Let us know by making a comment below. 


Our Report is also Being Covered By: MacSurfer, Apple Investor News, MacDailyNews, The Register UK, igeneration France, iSpazio Spanish, Fortune CNN Money, MacPlus France, iLounge, TiPb, Techmeme, AppleInsiderMacNNPhoneDog, iPhoneclub Netherlands, IntoMobile, AllNewsMac, Edible Apple, Phonesreview UK, AppleReport, BENM Austria, iPhoneHellas Greece, MacLife, iPhoner Italy, Softnation Germany, Macerkopf Germany, iPhones-Russia, MacTalk Australia, BlogdoiPhone Brazil, iSzene Germany, Macworld France and more. 


Update June 22, 2010: Information that Apple Wanted to Keep Secret

Los Angeles Times Busines: "Apple Inc. is now collecting "precise," "real-time geographic location" of its users' iPhones, iPads and computers. As some readers have noted, Apple has added a "Location Services" page under Settings ... General that allows users to prevent apps from using location information (as we covered here.) However, there's nothing to indicated that these settings prevent Apple itself from gathering and storing location data from Apple devices," states David Sarno of the Los Angeles Times. Also see InformationWeek on this point.


Whether this geo-location tracking clause appears in the new iPhone 4 manual that Apple requested to be kept under wraps by the FCC for 45 days is not known at this time. Yet it stands to reason that in order to activate the iPhone 4, you will have to agree to this clause which supports the need for secrecy and the positon that the Los Angeles Times report is taking. Update June 24, 2010: Confirmation: the geo-location tracking clause is in the manual. See the last clause of the iPhone 4 manual (of part one).


On one hand it's good. If you were ever stranded on a road and unable to communicate on your iPhone, the geo-location technology could still allow authorities to track your location. On the other hand, it's a privacy issue - and it appears that Apple isn't giving you a choice. We covered "Privacy: A Burning Issue," hereUpdate, June 24, 2010: Washington law makers now want answers from Apple about this clause.  


Update, June 23, 2010 Re:  The iPhone 4 Teardown by iFixit 

In step 8, iFixit states: "While we're not too busy, let's talk RAM. Unlike the iPhone 3GS and iPad, who are both equiped with 256 MB, the iPhone 4 has a whopping 512 MB!"

So there you have it, iFixit confirms another secret that Apple tried to hold back via their letter of confidentiality to the FCC.

Update, June 23, 5PM Mountain Time: See new information about "Video Calls" in Apple's iPhone 4 Product Guide just released  and a day ahead of the iPhone 4 launch.




It also supports 1700MHz 3G with support for WIND in Canada and T-Mobile in the USA.

Soon it'll be available unlocked via Apple Stores in Canada, and also from the provider WIND.

People in the USA will also be able to buy these phones and use them on T-Mobile USA.

marcus jones

My take on this is that it has to do with a future lawsuit against Gizmodo.


There are some Blackberries that are both GSM/CDMA.
ie: The Blackberry 8830

There is even a iDEN/GSM phone the Motorola i930


I'm voting for a non-event.

Chuck Gunther

Could the front facing glass be used for barcode scanning and facilitate quick check-out and credit card use all in one? This could revolutionize any shopping experience, from grocery stores to who knows what.


Maybe iPhone 4 will already support LTE networks!


2nd Inductive Charging


HD Radio and RFID. Those are technologies the FCC cares about.


@Doug. Good point about the radio being the FCC's concern here, though that doesn't fit with the manual being listed as one of the itemized things that Apple wanted covered. There could have been one or more prototypes and we may indeed find something interesting. If not, oh well, no harm done.

We still have to see the FCC docs in 45 days to determine what is being supressed. Apple wouldn't write a letter to supress if there wasn't something to supress. The logic stands.


A working telephone?

Sammy Crezia

Brilliant. You're right. The revelation of the 512mb of ram actually confirms what they were conveying in the letter to the FCC. They didn't want this information out. It did and that's now history. But Apple tried to have that supressed until release time. There was a nice surprise planned and I only hope that there's still just one-more-thing :)

With 200 features on the iPhone 4, how can there not be.


What would the FCC be interested in? Radio type communications.

They could care less about ram since it is not in their jurisdiction to govern the amount of ram.

A radio is a possibility, but again if it's cool Jobs would want to show that off onstage, so while possible I think this is not the secret. Plus didn't apple buy either Lala or a clone and the iphone would probably use the data network rather than radio to pull down music.

If it were CDMA it would make the most sense as it could be a contractual thing. AT&T might require them to wait a while so they have exclusive rights to the new iphone for a while, then when the FCC docs are nearly public Verizon could announce the support. I know jobs said there was a 5 year deal, but we don't know the details... maybe it had to have unlimited data plans and AT&T broke it, or there were other clauses. I'm sure neither company painted themselves into a corner.

To me the CDMA seems to make the most sense. It's just another radio on a chip... if Apple doesn't do it someone will eventually, that is the sort of thing that I think they would do.

Also ... look at the comments made about AT&T and the general network, Jobs is no longer content to let AT&T control the iphone. Again I think it's a contractual thing at this point.

my 2 cents


Solar panel

David C

Adding a vote for the touch sensitive backing. Just a hunch, but something about the way Apple's official protector case left the back exposed is suspicious. If it was just about keeping the logo visible, why not simply add a logo to the back of a case?

Dennis Tia

Never leave home without one, got it?
It's probably an integrated shopping and payment device already built into the phone.


solar charging or something that utilizes light through the backside glass.


The RAM surprise, Maybe. An interesting tidbit in the manual, perhaps. Some software surprises, plural, very likely because Steve Jobs did say there was over 200 tweeks coming. So I'll be stunned if there's nothing new. Of course there's something coming. Just not in respect to hardware. The "User Manual" could have laid out one or more of these software surprises as in, how to use something. My 2 cent bet.


It won't happen, but I'd love to see at least USB 3 offered on the iPhone 4 or even a stunning move, with Light Peak. But that's not going to happen. USB 3, however should! Apple has to think ahead. Remember the acendancy rule? Well then USB 2 should die.


Appleworks 2010!

Jerry Schuman

I've been perplexed by the glass back on the phone. It never made sense considering the fragility of it regardless if its 20x stronger. I believe that Apple has a patent for gestures on the back of the phone and am wondering if that glass is there for such a reason.

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