FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has now issued a statement urging Apple to activate the FM radio capabilities built into the wireless modem of every iPhone. Pai’s pointed statement follows the NAB renewing its own push for Apple to enable FM radio access on iPhones.


Pai said he hopes Apple will reconsider its position following Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, which have devastated parts of the United States, including Florida, Texas, Barbuda, Dominica, and Puerto Rico. The storms can leave over millions of people without cellular service for weeks or even months, while FM radio can provide vital access to weather alerts and other life-saving information.

When wireless networks go down during a natural disaster, smartphones with activated FM chips can allow Americans to get vital access to life-saving information. I applaud those companies that have done the right thing by activating the FM chips in their phones.

Apple is the one major phone manufacturer that has resisted doing so. But I hope the company will reconsider its position, given the devastation wrought by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. That's why I am asking Apple to activate the FM chips that are in its iPhones. It is time for Apple to step up to the plate and put the safety of the American people first. As the Sun Sentinel of South Florida put it, 'Do the right thing, Mr. Cook. Flip the switch. Lives depend on it.'"

Both the Qualcomm and Intel chips that enable Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity in every iPhone have a built-in FM tuner that would allow people to listen to FM radio over the air. Apple has not enabled the functionality, forcing users to use an app to stream FM radio over Wi-Fi or cellular data. Perhaps FM radio access would likely still require a traditional antenna, not as simple as just turning on the function.


Currently, Apple hasn't responded why they counties to keep the FM radio functionality disabled. Some critics suggest it could be to avoid losing Apple Music subscriptions, but who knows? Maybe the real reason is probably deeper than that.

Via MacRumors And 9to5Mac, Image Via MacRumors And Wccftech

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