As just three of what will most likely turn out to be a number of quiet changes to the iPhone 3GS hardware from its iPhone 3G predecessor, Apple has disclosed details of changes to the iPhone 3G’s headphone port, headset, and radiation emissions, which offer mixed news for users of the upcoming 3GS model.
Since 2007, Apple has included the iPhone Stereo Headset with all iPhone and iPhone 3G devices sold worldwide, a pair of earbuds with an integrated microphone and single-button multifunction controller that can accept and reject calls, as well as pausing audio playback and skipping tracks. In 2008, Apple introduced the Earphones with Remote and Mic, adding volume controls to the remote control and changing the microphone to a version that sounded less natural, exhibiting some sibilance but also greater intelligibility. Due to a headphone port hardware change to support the additional remote volume control functionality, the new Earphones worked fully only with late 2008 iPod models, and were sold separately. According to Apple, they are now included in the iPhone 3GS package, replacing the iPhone Stereo Headset, and signaling that the iPhone 3GS has received the updated headphone port found on the latest iPods.
Additionally, just-released test-result documents submitted by Apple to the FCC show differences in the iPhone 3G S’s tested radiation emissions relative to its predecessor. A breakdown of the highest reported SAR values in three different broadcasting bands follows; lower numbers are better, and the FCC’s limit is 1.6 W/kg on any given measure.
Part 22 (824 – 849 MHz): 3G – Head: 0.506 W/kg, Body: 1.03 W/kg. 3G S – Head: 0.57 W/kg, Body: 0.67 W/kg.
Part 24 (1850 – 1910 MHz): 3G – Head: 1.38 W/kg, Body: 0.521 W/kg. 3G S – Head: 1.19 W/kg, Body: 0.33 W/kg
Part 15 (2400 – 2483.5 MHz): 3G – Head: 0.779 W/kg, Body: 0.088 W/kg. 3G S – Head: 0.52 W/kg, Body: 0.06 W/kg.
These numbers appear to indicate that the iPhone 3Gs puts out lower maximum radiation levels when broadcasting in the 1850-1910 and 2400-2483.5 MHz frequency ranges, higher when near the head in 824-849 MHz, and lower near the body in that range, as compared with the iPhone 3G.