The Federal Communications Commission, the agency that certifies mobile devices before they hit store shelves, issues a statement yesterday saying that Apple should activate the FM radio chip inside the iPhones. Apple now has given a response and it gives us insight into how much the FCC really knows about these devices.
“Apple is the one major phone manufacturer that has resisted [activating the FM chips in their phones],” Pai said. “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.'”
Apple gave a very interesting response back to the FCC and let FCC chairman Ajit Pai know what’s really going on. The iPhone maker fired back at FCC by telling TechCruch that “Apple cares deeply about the safety of our users, especially during times of crisis and that’s why we have engineered modern safety solutions into our products.”
“Users can dial emergency services and access Medical ID card information directly from the Lock Screen, and we enable government emergency notifications, ranging from Weather Advisories to AMBER alerts. iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models do not have FM radio chips in them nor do they have antennas designed to support FM signals, so it is not possible to enable FM reception in these products.” TechCrunch adds that it’s the same for the iPhone X.
Apple may have included FM radios inside older iPhones, but of course didn’t ever intent to have them connected or even have antennas to support them. This is quite the response to the FCC because Apple can’t just turn on something that there is no set hardware support for. No matter how much the FCC makes a push for Apple to do this, it just won’t work. Pai needs to realize this and has yet to react to Apple’s response.