FCC Asks Apple to Unlock FM Chip in iPhone

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The FCC chief, AJit Pai, asked Apple to turn on the FM radio chip found inside the iPhone. The head of the US communications regulatory body disclosed the reason for his request regarding user safety. Pai reveals that enabling FM radio chips will enable Americans to gain access to information that saves their lives, when storms or earthquakes sever access to wireless networks.

Pai also said Apple is not the only major smartphone manufacturer that has not activated the chip. But in a statement, Apple mentioned that iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, as well as iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X are not equipped with an FM radio chip.

The model is also not equipped with an FM radio signal receiver antenna. Therefore, Apple calls the activation of FM radio signal reception capability on 2016 and 2017 output devices is not possible.

The FCC is also not yet certain to have the authority to instruct companies to enable FM chips inside their devices. The FCC is still reluctant to comment on Apple's statement regarding the absence of FM chips in its latest model.


However, Pai expects the company will consider its position, and recall the damage caused by Harvey's storms, Irma and Maria. Cellular towers damaged by natural disasters cause FM transmission is considered to be the best backup system.

In a series of storms that hit parts of the continent leaving 90 percent of cell towers in Puerto Rico encountered problems, while 67 percent of towers on the Virgin Islands of the United States are not working.

In some areas turning FM radio chips inside the device becomes the only way to gain access to vital information disseminated to people affected by natural disasters.
 

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