The chairman of the FCC has called on Apple to active FM radio chips inside iPhones that would allow users to pick up local radio signals. The National Association of Broadcasters has made the same request.

The aftermath of Hurricane Irma, which took out cell service and has left Puerto Rico especially hard-hit prompted the statement.

Chairman Ajit Pai said,

“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. 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.”

The FCC has been asking smartphone makers to activate FM radio capabilities in phones, for some time.  The National Association of Broadcasters applauded the request.  “We urge Apple to acknowledge the public safety benefits of local broadcasting on SmartPhones and to light up the FM chip.”

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However, Apple says there’s a big problem with that plan. They say the iPhone 7 and 8 just don’t have an FM chip to turn on or an antenna capable of picking up FM radio.

What do you think? Should all smartphones include radio capability? Or is that up to the manufacturer?  Let me know in the comments.

But just because the iPhone doesn’t have that capability, that doesn’t mean that other smartphones don’t. And it’s actually pretty to access.  Click here to read how.