1 2 Previous Next 29 Replies Latest reply: Dec 6, 2008 8:01 AM by Grant Slawson
poetandpotter Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I have contacted Apple support because both my iPhone 3g and my husbands cause interference with various electrical devices and standard phones. These include a sound machine by my bed, two alarm clocks, my two-line phone at work, the car radio (which includes a car phone speaker and GPS)... you name it. The interference will occur even if the iPhone is 4 or 5 feet away from the devices. The result is buzzing, the closer the iPhone, the louder the buzzing.

I asked about the possibility of it causing problems with devices such as pacemakers, which is a concern of mine since I manager a mobile home community for seniors.

The response from Apple Support? Don't use the phone when you are in the proximity of people with pacemakers, it is better to err on the side of safety!

Excuse me? My response? Anywhere in public, you might pass someone with a pacemaker and never know it. Their response? Yes, I understand, but better safe than sorry.

Does anyone else have this problem? Are the two of us alone in this? Hard to believe!!

iPhone 3g, Other OS
  • 1. Re: iPhone 3g cause interference w appliances & standard phones?
    The Omega Level 1 Level 1 (75 points)
    This is the first time I have heard of this issue. I can tell you, although do not do so because of anything I say, that I know several people with pacemakers and a cell phone, including the IPhone 3G, and have no problem as long as you keep them at least a foot or so away.

    Now, it sounds like your phone may have some issue and the one foot would not be a good idea with someone that has a pacemaker with it. A normally working phone should not be a problem for a person with a pacemaker, and this is an answer when asked this same question from a Heart Surgeon. Just walking past someone with a pacemaker should not be a problem with a normally working cell phone.

    It sounds to me like either you have a defective phone OR you have a grounding problem in your house.

    Test your phone at some one else's house, or somewhere else, and see if you still have the issue with any similar electronic devices.

    The Omega
  • 2. Re: iPhone 3g cause interference w appliances & standard phones?
    poetandpotter Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Ah, but is two phones, both new, one mine and one that belongs to my husband. And it is not one location but many... our home, my office, our car, at other people's homes.

    And the answer from Apple Support just makes me very, very nervous.
  • 3. Re: iPhone 3g cause interference w appliances & standard phones?
    The Omega Level 1 Level 1 (75 points)
    Only two (2) suggestions:

    1) Are these places all in the same location (i.e. on the same electrical line down the same road perhaps).
    2) If you can get another IPhone 3G from a friend of somebody and see if theirs does the same thing you are seeing in the same locations with the same electrical devices.

    Since it seems unlikely you would just happen to get two (2) phones with the same problem, although possible, could mean yet another problem with the device. I have not noticed mine causing any interference with anything, but will keep an eye out for it.

    The Omega
  • 4. Re: iPhone 3g cause interference w appliances & standard phones?
    m21635 Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
    The Omega wrote:
    This is the first time I have heard of this issue. I can tell you, although do not do so because of anything I say, that I know several people with pacemakers and a cell phone, including the IPhone 3G, and have no problem as long as you keep them at least a foot or so away.

    This is not the first time that this issue has been brought up. As a matter of fact, the same problem was raised as well with the initial iPhone back in 2007. I personally sent two reports of this to Apple. Of course, due to policy, these reports are never responded to by Apple.

    I originally experienced this problem when utilizing microphones and I normally have to leave my iPhone and iPhone 3G back where I am sitting so that it doesn't create a microphone feedback. I assume that I could shut the iPhone 3G off but that is a temporary fix and it does not resolve the problem at hand.
  • 5. Re: iPhone 3g cause interference w appliances & standard phones?
    musicvan Level 1 Level 1 (140 points)
    poetandpotter wrote:
    I have contacted Apple support because both my iPhone 3g and my husbands cause interference with various electrical devices and standard phones. These include a sound machine by my bed, two alarm clocks, my two-line phone at work, the car radio (which includes a car phone speaker and GPS)...


    This exists on most GSM cellular phones, its the data bursts between the phone and base station. It will depend on how well the devices are screened etc...


    I asked about the possibility of it causing problems with devices such as pacemakers, which is a concern of mine since I manager a mobile home community for seniors.

    The response from Apple Support? Don't use the phone when you are in the proximity of people with pacemakers, it is better to err on the side of safety!


    If you read the small print in the booklet included with the iphone it does state this, the same statement is in almost every cell phone manual I have purchased. Every device that emits electromagnetic radiation will have similar disclaimers.
  • 6. Re: iPhone 3g cause interference w appliances & standard phones?
    poetandpotter Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Sorry, maybe I am not making myself clear! This happens in our car as well, while we are driving. In locations hundreds of miles apart. Without being plugged in for charging, just lying by itself. It stops causing the other things to buzz loudly if we turn it off. Turn it on, it starts.

    Our home is not on the same electrical line as my office. Nor is our car, which operates, I believe, with gas and batteries.

    Apple Support said it has been reported before. But all they do is caution us not to use it near people with pacemakers. At 3 to 4 to 5 feet.... As in, a crowd, a mall, walking down the street. Sort of defeats the purpose of a mobile phone, don't 'cha think?
  • 7. Re: iPhone 3g cause interference w appliances & standard phones?
    The Omega Level 1 Level 1 (75 points)
    I understand, and really do not have a clue what the cause is. If someone else's IPhone 3G does not do this in say your house, then I would conclude that both your IPhones are defective and I would insist that Apple replace them.

    I cannot think of any other solution or explanation. Maybe they both came out of the same lot that had some issue with a portion of their production. You could check to see if your serial numbers are anything close to each other.

    Good luck.
    The Omega
  • 8. Re: iPhone 3g cause interference w appliances & standard phones?
    m21635 Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
    I also have other 3G based cell phones that do not cause this problem regarding interference. I will not get into detail which of the phones does and does not since this is an iPhone 3G forum but take my word, this problem is specific to the iPhone and iPhone 3G and as I said earlier I have reported this to Apple.
  • 9. Re: iPhone 3g cause interference w appliances & standard phones?
    gilesjuk Level 2 Level 2 (195 points)
    No mobile phone can be released to market without being approved by the FCC, EU or other regional approval organisations. Therefore the phone is safe, unless of course yours have developed a fault.

    If you buy low end cheap electrical gear it's often poorly shielded against RF.
  • 10. Re: iPhone 3g cause interference w appliances & standard phones?
    HeloCaptain Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    If you have the 3G network turned off, then the noise is probably caused by the phone using the Edge network to get mail, or access the network for some reason (including acknowledging an incoming call signal).

    I had interference with my Blackberry (as well as my iPhone 3G which is set to 3G off \[so I am on Edge most of the time\]). Happens at home, in my car, in light airplanes and helicopters and non-Apple certified external speakers.

    I have not had the issue with the iPhones 3G network turned on and active (in other words, if the phone hasn't self initiated a drop to Edge from 3G).
  • 11. Re: iPhone 3g cause interference w appliances & standard phones?
    musicvan Level 1 Level 1 (140 points)
    All GSM mobile phones do this,phones using the 3G bands will not be heard, its a burst of data (RACH) between the mobile & the base station. If you have the phone near a poorly shielded speaker then you can hear the data burst. The level of the burst will depend on what level the phone is transmitting at (distance from base station) so it could be a faulty phone if its transmitting at full power all the time. But if the speakers/devices you hear this on are poorly shield then almost every GSM(not CDMA) phone will cause some noise. You can obtain filters to filter out the noise from speakers.
  • 12. Re: iPhone 3g cause interference w appliances & standard phones?
    Argyron Level 1 Level 1 (65 points)
    No, this is not an iphone-only effect, don't spread rubbish like that.

    This is per part 15 of the FCC compliance rules. Compliance with part 15 means a device may not cause harmful interference and must accept interference received even if it may cause undesired operation. If you start looking around your house, you'll see a lot of things marked as fcc part 15 compliant.

    It's a simple fact of life when you get transmitters and antennas close to each other they can interfere with each other. And don't think it's only the things you normally think of as a transmitter and antenna - people with a pacemaker (antenna) are not supposed to remain too close to a microwave (transmitter).

    If you want something to be immune to interference, then start building a farraday cage around it. Usually that sort of thing is used in specialized equipment and is called "hardened" to some level. Like an MRI machine's circuity is hardened against the EM radiation of its own fluctuating magnetic field, and military equipment is hardened against a lot of interference - but get my iphone close to the pc speakers when it is not using the 3G band and the speakers get interference. When it is using the 3G band or the wifi, the speakers receive no interference.
  • 13. Re: iPhone 3g cause interference w appliances & standard phones?
    m21635 Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
    gilesjuk wrote:
    No mobile phone can be released to market without being approved by the FCC, EU or other regional approval organisations. Therefore the phone is safe, unless of course yours have developed a fault.

    You are correct. Each electronic device regardless of its purpose must meet FCC and/or EU requirements. All this certification does is insure that the device that was tested meets the standard as set forth by the organization that establishes the rules.

    It does not guarantee that after receiving approval that each and every device that is built is built to that specification.

    I would love to have $1 for every device that is manufactured, after FCC testing, that does not meet the same standard as that device that was tested. The FCC used to be extremely diligent regarding sample testing off of manufacturing lines but I am not sure that the old sampling processes are still being used due to budget constraints and other budget emphasis on the part of the Federal Government.
  • 14. Re: iPhone 3g cause interference w appliances & standard phones?
    lab lover in mn Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I have had the buzzing interference with every cell phone I have had. It is just when the phone try to send or receive a signal. It is annoying and I wish they could fix it.
1 2 Previous Next