The much-anticipated Nothing Phone (1) was recently launched first in select countries. Other specifications of the Nothing Phone (1) include a 120Hz refresh rate display, Snapdragon 778G+ SoC and a 45,000mAh battery. It’s worth noting though that Nothing skipped the FCC certification process for the Nothing phone. What does that mean for users?
FCC stands for Federal Communications Commission. This organization is responsible for affixing the FCC mark to electronic products, and the FCC is an independent government agency in the United States that regulates radio, television, cable, satellite and cable communications.
Why do devices need FCC certification?
The FCC mark is similar to how the BIS label works for electronic products in India. The FCC mark for electronics is a certification that all electronics manufactured or sold in the U.S. must undergo, otherwise, manufacturers are not allowed to market their electronics. FCC certification, on the other hand, focuses specifically on the RF (radio frequency) aspects of electronics.
This organization is responsible for ensuring that electronic products such as smartphones do not exceed safe RF limits and sets standards for “human RF exposure limits and hearing aid compatibility (HAC) for wireless phones.
Why is the Nothing Phone (1) not FCC certified?
Now let’s look at the specifics of why the Nothing Phone (1) skipped FCC certification. It seems that Nothing’s problems have more to do with carrier issues in the U.S. than regulatory compliance. A report from PCMag says that Nothing has decided to skip the U.S. and Canadian launches for now. A statement sent to PCMag further notes.
“While we are eager to bring Phone(1) to people around the world, we are focusing on our domestic markets, including the U.K. and Europe, where we have strong relationships with leading local carriers. As you know, launching a smartphone takes a lot of things, from making sure the phone is supported by cellular technology in that country, to carrier partnerships and local regulation, and since we’re still a young brand, we need to be strategic”.
PCMag speculates that Nothing’s inability to reach agreements with U.S. carriers may be the reason Nothing isn’t selling smartphones in the U.S., thus skipping FCC certification. Unlike the rest of the world where users buy smartphones through independent local retailers, the situation is a little different in the U.S., where 90 percent of smartphones are sold through the carrier channel, according to Mashable’s report. Therefore, deals with telecom carriers are important for Nothing if it wants to tap into the huge customer base of U.S. carriers.
In addition, according to analyst Avi Greengart, the carrier certification process for smartphones is costly in the U.S. Apparently, OEMs must shell out up to $1 million per phone, per carrier, and smartphones must be certified by carriers to make them compatible with the band and technology mix used by U.S. telecoms. So there are potential cost implications for Nothing, which is still relatively young in the market.
But the company has said it still plans to launch the smartphone in the U.S. and asked that “if readers really want the Nothing Phone (1) to be available in the U.S. soon, they should call their carriers and let them know about us.
Can I use Nothing Phone (1) without FCC certification?
Yes, the Nothing Phone (1) is absolutely safe to use even without the FCC mark because the Nothing Phone (1) is still a BIS-compliant device, which ensures that there are no quality or safety issues with the device.