FCC Urges Apple to Protect Safety of Americans by Activating FM Radio Chip In iPhones

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by Megalith, Sep 28, 2017.

  1. Megalith

    Megalith 24-bit/48kHz Staff Member

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    Once in a while, Ajit Pai actually says something we can all get behind: the Federal Communications Commission chairman is urging Apple to activate FM radio chips installed in iPhones in the wake of major hurricanes. Such powerful storms can leave thousands or millions of people without power or cellular service for weeks or even months, and over-the-air FM radio can provide vital access to weather alerts and other life-saving information.

    A study by the National Association of Broadcasters last year found only 44 percent of the top-selling smartphones in the United States had FM radio capabilities enabled. 94 percent of the unactivated devices were iPhones. 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. Apple hasn't revealed why it keeps the FM radio functionality disabled.
     
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  2. ButtonPuncher

    ButtonPuncher Limp Gawd

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    I thought that on most phones, the shield on the headphone cable was used as the antenna for the FM radio. No headphone jack, no FM antenna.

    Even if they did enable it, reception would probably be pretty bad with an antenna only a couple inches long inside the phone. A half-wave FM antenna is something like 28 inches long.
     
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  3. zamardii12

    zamardii12 2[H]4U

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    They are talking about activating the functionality of it on the phone itself. Yes, the headphone is the antenna but that won't activate the function of the FM radio.
     
  4. Elf_Boy

    Elf_Boy 2[H]4U

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    Because it is Apple.

    Why let ppl listen to radio for free when they can make a profit.
     
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  5. Monkey God

    Monkey God Mangina Full of Sand

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    Yep. The answer to 99 questions out of a 100 in business is "money".
     
  6. Cali3350

    Cali3350 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Because its any company currently making a phone. Not just Apple.
     
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  7. Mackintire

    Mackintire 2[H]4U

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    Verizon does the same things with my HTC 10 and their firmware....they disable the FM Radio
     
  8. phobos512

    phobos512 Limp Gawd

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    Hang on a second...The current FCC is recommending something that’s actually helpful to consumers? I had no idea such things were possible anymore.
     
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  9. grtitan

    grtitan Telemetry is Spying on ME!

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    I could be completely wrong, but I think that verizon was the first one to do this and somehow, everyone just followed with this bullshit.

    My understanding is that all cell phones already have the FM radio capability, but all phones sold in america have it disabled, but I could be wrong on that.
     
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  10. Madoc

    Madoc Gawd

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    Occasionally the Moon blots out the Sun. It doesn't happen very often, but it does happen.
     
  11. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics I don't get it

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    My S8+ has it, and it's not disabled. Unfortunately the NextRadio app is not to my liking, I totally get that you need the headphones plugged in because that's the antenna, but why can I listen to it through my headphones, unlike some people out there I don't feel like I should be doing a personal broadcast for everyone by playing it over my speaker. But who knows, maybe there's a function I just don't know about which is why I can't hear through my headphones.
     
  12. Friday21

    Friday21 n00b

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    So these people can afford an iPhone but not the foresight to invest in a hand crank radio. Now we need the government to force apple's hand?
     
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  13. Chaos Machine

    Chaos Machine Gawd

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    I'm guessing it's because they want to collect more granular listening data of the user that they can't get with the tuner. When you aren't paying for the product, you are the product.
     
  14. BulletDust

    BulletDust [H]ardness Supreme

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    Yeah, and in the case of most corporations allowed to grow bigger than most governments of the world with more power in many cases, we're not just talking about a 'profit' here, we're talking about 'robbing the consumer blind'.

    The cost of the new iPhone is an outright joke and I fail to understand how any self respecting consumer can defend such behavior. The whole idea of a global stock market is a complete failure, with greed literally out of control.
     
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  15. Maxx_Power

    Maxx_Power Limp Gawd

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    “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.”

    How the FCC appears to not know the iPhones (7 and above) do NOT have FM reception chips inside, is a mystery. That's a large part of their job.
     
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  16. BulletDust

    BulletDust [H]ardness Supreme

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    It's a bit hard to dial anything when the network's down isn't it?!
     
  17. westrock2000

    westrock2000 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Also that no iPhone ever has had this capability and I haven't heard people complain about that.

    I think some of the iPods had it....the nano, not the Classic though.
     
  18. westrock2000

    westrock2000 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Also you guys looking at Apple or the FCC having some greedy alterier motives, consider it's the National Association of Broadcaster that is pushing this. They don't care about safety...not yours at least. It's a legacy medium looking for a way to increase their listener base with the help of the government.
     
  19. Nukester

    Nukester [H]ard|Gawd

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    I never knew it had one in it. WTF... Guess Pandora and that other streaming service paid them off to keep it off.
     
  20. Mize

    Mize Limp Gawd

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    FCC looks stupid yet again.
     
  21. Elf_Boy

    Elf_Boy 2[H]4U

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    Odd the apple release was so specific. Not that fm capability was not present.

    Anyhow what about the 6 and prior? Significant numbers out there.

    Enabling fm for emergencies is still a good idea.

    How people will keep the phones charged I don't know.
     
  22. Jagger100

    Jagger100 [H]ardness Supreme

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    It's called competition and it gets companies to do the right thing from common interest with consumers. Fancy that.
     
  23. Jagger100

    Jagger100 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Phone company selling you data keep it off. They want you to burn data streaming. They are the ones that also want to kill the SD card. Although there's also data mining opportunity to killing the SD card Google is onboard with.
     
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  24. DocFaustus

    DocFaustus 2[H]4U

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    Ajit Pai absolutely 100% knows that the new phones don't have FM chips at all. He is just trying to shift the blame.
     
  25. westrock2000

    westrock2000 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Getting the FCC to strong arm one of the largest phone makers in America to add a feature that very few are asking for?

    iHeart Radio owns about 900 stations. And they are massively in debt (I think about 20 billion). Many analysts do not expect them to survive. Passive FM is having a hard time offering a competitive service. AM however is doing very well as they offer a much more unique service in the form of talk radio. FM is the one that is concerned with its financial future.

    Regarding the headphone jack situation, the lightning port and USB-C both allow for analogue signals over the port. So an analogue headphone is still available. It would require additional muxing compared to just hardwiring to a 3.5mm jack. But again, I just do not see a wide scale desire for this, and is probably the reason Apple ultimately decided to never bother with it outside of the Nano.
     
  26. JackNSally

    JackNSally Limp Gawd

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    The new ones have no headphone jack so even if it's enabled, the reception will be terrible
     
  27. jeremyshaw

    jeremyshaw [H]ardForum Junkie

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    In the past, BT basically used FM-compatible transcievers, which made nearly every phone with with a BT/Wifi chip effectively have FM reception ability as well. This may have changed since 2010.
     
  28. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics I don't get it

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    Why would Apple put anything in their phones that allows people to get stuff without going through their App store and possibly charging for it? This is Apple business 101.
     
  29. westrock2000

    westrock2000 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    possibly.

    I use the iHeart radio app for free to listen to AM talk radio because the fidelity is loads better. So even with a perfectly fine tuner in the car I still use the Internet.