Siemens Warns of Possible Hearing Damage from Mobile Phones

August 28, 2004
Siemens Mobile Phone

The mobile communication group of Siemens AG – Siemens mobile for short – has warned about a software-related defect in its 65 product series (C65, CX65, M65, S65, SL65 as well as all provider variations such as the CV65, CT65, CXV65 and CXT65) which could lead to failures in audio transmission in very rare and unlikely cases of usage. Because of the software error, if a telephone call is automatically cut off because the battery has run down, the disconnection melody could possibly start to play loudly. In extreme cases, this volume could lead to hearing damage.

However, this danger can only arise if the mobile phone is held up directly to the ear while the melody is playing. In order to rule out any danger of damage to health, however, Siemens recommends deactivating the disconnection melody or the disconnection animation function. The 65 product series has been received very positively by both the trade press and by consumers. Apart from its unique design for various target groups, it also provides comprehensive equipment features including a video function, Bluetooth and an integrated megapixel camera – depending on the model.
In addition, the phone call should be terminated as soon as the first "low battery" warning signal comes. To deactivate the disconnection melody, the user must first select the “Setup” item in the menu, then “Ringtones,” afterwards “More melodies,” and then the “Shutdown melody” can be deactivated by selecting “Switch off”.

Siemens attaches great importance to the comprehensive quality control of its products. It regularly examines current production and development according to strict internal and external criteria, during which the products are also tested under extreme conditions in order to guarantee the optimization and complete security of its equipment. In a laboratory test, it was discovered that a malfunction can occur in mobile phones of the 65 product series in very unlikely cases of usage. The error only occurs in the following case and in version 11 or earlier versions of the software: During a telephone call, the battery has to have run down to such an extent that the warning signal notifying the user about this status has rung three times in the space of one minute. After this has occurred, the call is automatically disconnected. Shortly before the mobile phone finally shuts down, it will start playing the disconnection melody, which can play back at high volume in certain cases. If the user is still holding the phone up to his ear during this time, this can lead to hearing damage.

Siemens has already developed new equipment software that stops this malfunction in the mobile phones in the 65 product series. After approval is received from the network providers, the new update software versions will be provided free of charge in the coming weeks.

Source: Siemens AG

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