Apple Faces Renewed Pressure to Enable FM Radio Chip in iPhones Amid Strong Hurricane Season [Updated]

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Sep 28, 2017.

  1. Rogifan macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2011
    I can listen to radio stations (including AM stations) using TuneIn and iHeart apps without spending a dime in-app. Yes it does require WiFi but my response was to the notion Apple is intentionally disabling FM radio capabilities to push Apple Music. That’s absurd.
  2. RogerWilco3 macrumors newbie


    Sep 29, 2017
    It's a simple problem of Physics. for the 88-108 MHz frequency band you need an antenna of about 80cm/30inches.
    Like most FM radios have.
    Most phones are a lot smaller. You can solve it by using the headphones cord as an antenna, but otherwise mobile phones operate at much higher frequencies of 900,1800,1900 MHz, which only require a 4-8cm/2-3.5inches antenna.
    The quality is never going to be very good, which I think is the main reason Apple didn't pursue it.
  3. 26theone macrumors member

    Jan 28, 2008
    So someone can afford an iphone but cant afford an FM radio? I live on the gulf coast and an emergency hand crank/solar AM/FM/WB radio is less than $20. This is a non issue.
  4. MH01 Suspended


    Feb 11, 2008
    Really? Absurd remember iTunes Radio? Its Absurd to equate radio over wifi to a story about hardware FM

    So tell us why the Radio is disabled? Something other manufactures have not done?
  5. kenny2 macrumors newbie

    Apr 4, 2011
    Yorkshire, UK
    Without power means you can’t charge your phone anyway to listen to radio or call or play games or anything. So a battery operated fm/ am Dab whatever will be a lot more useful than a bloody phone. If I lived where disasters happen frequently I would make sure I had a radio and a torch. Wouldn’t want to rely on my phone for a torch either.
  6. Starfyre macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2010
    So much trouble stirred up... that ended up being irrelevant since Apple has no FM chips in the iPhones anymore.

    I remembered the iPod Touch had them, not sure if they still do. It would be nice if the jailbreaking community was able to unlock them.
  7. Eliard macrumors newbie

    Sep 29, 2017
    --- Post Merged, Sep 29, 2017 ---
    And now all the Apple haters can stop jumping on bandwagons with no wheels.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 29, 2017 ---
    It's not disabled... it's not even available in newer iPhones.
  8. alecgold macrumors 65816


    Oct 11, 2007
    Funny that the fcc chairman asks to enable hardware that isn’t there. If anybody should know, it would be the fcc?!
  9. MachCrit Suspended


    Jun 5, 2017
    Lurking About the Planet
    The fact that FM chips aren't even present in current devices seems to have escaped most critics.

    However, in a situation where you don't have access to power, and need to listen to emergency broadcasts on the radio, you are far better off with as mall dedicated AM/FM radio that has replaceable batteries. Save your iPhone power for critical applications, including putting that little puppy into a waterproof bag.

    AM/FM radios are cheap.
  10. jakunlimtd macrumors newbie

    Sep 28, 2017
    SMS is not the predominant messaging system on ios. It is, however, part of the carrier's mobile networks that the iPhones support. The carrier offers this capability - its no more a feature than being able to receive calls. Adding FM capability is not similar in the least.
  11. Hater macrumors 6502a


    Sep 20, 2017
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    What? You were making all of these motivational speech-esque claims about Apple supporting the future and crap, saying they'd never support FM radio because it's an old technology and they're a future looking company, completely ignoring the fact they support heaps of old technologies, SMS being one of them.
  12. szw-mapple fan macrumors 65816

    szw-mapple fan

    Jul 28, 2012
    MacBook batteries are 7,000 mAh at most which is not a lot to use as a phone battery. Many power banks come with 15,000 mAh or more these days.
  13. Macaholic868 macrumors 6502


    Feb 2, 2017
    It’s a non issue if you’re at home when disaster strikes and your radio isn’t damaged. If you’re not at home or the radio is damaged you’re done. So it’s an issue and Apple should enable it in the devices that have it. If you have to buy a third party headphone jack antenna so be it.
  14. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010

    Where is your great great grandfathers ebook collection now? :)
  15. 01silver4 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 4, 2014
    Did I say I was relying on my phone? I just said it would be nice to have that option. And for your information we have radio and led lanterns not torch. I make sure my family had plenty of water and food as well also a generator so we could keep the phones and iPad computer charge we also have battery packs capable of charging our phones tens times, the cars are in the garage with ful tanks of gas. But one could never have enough when dealing hurricane etc. So if the iPhone had that fm capability it would be most welcome that’s all I am saying.

    Have you ever experienced an hurricane? I have lieved through several since a boy growing up in Jamaica. And if you have never been in one, who are you to lecture anyone on how to be prepared for one. Here is the truth even if one is prepared the best they can, we still don’t know what could happen during a storm so many things could go wrong. So you need to calm down and please be more sensitive to people who have to deal with hurricanes etc on a regular basis.
  16. kdarling, Sep 30, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017

    kdarling macrumors demi-god


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    Just a note about being on an international forum:

    If you notice, he's from the UK. Outside of North America, people use "torch" instead of "flashlight".

    I believe it's short for "electric torch". Which makes a bit more sense nowadays than "flashlight", which supposedly came about because early batteries and bulbs could only be used in short bursts (flashes).
  17. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    I guess it nothing to do money it's just technology these days.
    You may have:

    1: A computer controlled Gas boiler/heating system
    2: A Car
    3: A Digital TV/Radio
    4: A fridge with food you buy at the store

    Does not mean you are wrong. This s is today's world.

    Has nothing to do with (use the number above)

    1: Can't afford wood and a fireplace to burn them
    2: A Horse
    3: A old school AM/FM Radio
    4: Plants you grow for food.

    When things go wrong, our modern world crumbles FAST, and you need to revert back to things that do work.

    Like when the internet goes down and you can't watch your movies as you sold all your DVD's

    The further along we go, the more fragile and at risk we all become.
    Could someone from a bedroom in Russia or china etc, easily stop banks, airlines etc from working in the UK/USA 50 years ago ?
    --- Post Merged, Sep 30, 2017 ---
    I'm from the UK
    And would say torch
    Remember we had burning torches way way back. (Fire on the end of a wooden stick)
    Torch the witch etc.
  18. bruinsrme macrumors 603


    Oct 26, 2008
    How about this. The government redirects some of the "perk" and campaign money to build a better emergency infrastructure.
  19. 01silver4 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 4, 2014
    Oh ok.
  20. GeorgeKaplan8 macrumors newbie

    Sep 30, 2017
    Scratch a little harder at this "controversy"--Those who are pushing the FM radio/iPhone agenda are the FCC, NAB and IAB.

    The latter two are seeking a mandate that FM radio receivers be placed in all smartphones, because they are feeling the loss of listeners who are reaching instead for Spotify and other internet-delivered music sources. Newer cars make this even easier with Bluetooth connections, and models older than that still often include a headphone jack input (our 2007 Hyundai Elantra had that, and it was far from a top-end model). The NAB and IAB are trying to stuff the genie back in the bottle and make it possible for listeners to use their smartphone to receive terrestrial radio, instead of internet-delivered sources. It doesn't matter to them that wired headphones make a poor substitute for an antenna (which otherwise couldn't be placed in the small form factor of the modern smartphone), or that a $10 battery-powered radio is a much better resource in a disaster than a smartphone could ever be for receiving radio. They're trying to get governments to force all cellphone manufacturers to include this functionality in the phones.

    The FCC, on the other hand, has been smarting from criticism which dates back what was seen as a poor response to Sandy, and which has been revisited in the wake of Harvey, Irma, and Maria.It is easier for FCC Commissioner Pai to make Apple a fall guy to pissed-off folks in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico as a dodge for the shortcomings of the FCC's planning and response.
  21. jakunlimtd macrumors newbie

    Sep 28, 2017
    No. I explained the obvious disconnect between the FM radio experience and the intended Apple experience. Obviously Apple needs to support the standard features offered by the mobile networks that the phones are used on. (Can you imagine? “Buy this iPhone - it’s the only phone that can’t use SMS” - come on, that’s zany.)
    FM radio dates back to 1933. That’s also significantly older than SMS. There’s no real comparison.
    If we followed your wonky logic we could also point out that spread spectrum technology integral to mobile networks is based on frequency hopping systems developed by Heddy Lamarr & George Anthiel in WW2.

    Don’t be daft.
  22. pnvgordinho macrumors newbie

    Jun 9, 2014
    Probably Apple will enable it but you must buy a dongle to work. 30 dollars, cheap.
  23. paradox00 macrumors 65816

    Sep 29, 2009
    Requiring an external antenna is no different from a crank radio in that regard, it's still useless if you left it at home and you're not home. The current talk is about hurricanes, and you definitely know when they are coming so you shouldn't be caught off guard and away from your radio anyway. The discussion is also moot, Apple's new phones don't have an FM chipset and old ones don't have it hooked up. It was just part of a larger chipset they ordered. The reason it was not supported is likely mundane: Apple probably didn't see a benefit to putting development time towards it. Not that it would hurt Apple Music, just that it wouldn't sell more phones.
  24. chagla macrumors 6502a


    Mar 21, 2008
    it's already there. just artificially disabled to protect users i suppose. just like nfc and bluetooth have been crippled.
  25. Hater macrumors 6502a


    Sep 20, 2017
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    I guess you've never used a modern FM radio, they lock on to a signal and produce it loud and clear. It's not like that spread spectrum technology produces a jitter free experience as is, anyway.

    Apple are all about getting rid of things that people previously relied on to get people to move on, be it floppy drives, CD drives or headphone jacks - So not really sure what your point is with that.

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