FCC Urges Apple to Protect Safety of Americans by Activating FM Radio Chip in iPhones [Updated]

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

  1. Felix01 macrumors regular

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    Oct 22, 2008
    #326
    Nice smackdown, Apple. Hopefully the staffers who wrote that request for Pai will be on the receiving end of a Pai smackdown as well for not doing a minimal amount of product research before embarrassing their boss.
     
  2. markgpearse macrumors regular

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    #327
    My post was deemed political and deleted. Based on what I am reading most of this thread should be deleted.
     
  3. RicD macrumors member

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    #328
    What do you not understand “iPhones do not have FM radio capability built into them”. Regardless of the merits of Pai’s statement you cannot enable what is not there. When you look at the list of phones that do have FM radios that list is quite small. If you want FM radio “there is an app for that”.
     
  4. Relentless Power, Sep 30, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017

    Relentless Power macrumors G5

    Relentless Power

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    #329
    It would behoove you to actually reread from the time of my quote was originally posted and from the time when the article was updated, that likely would make way more sense to you. Macrumors updated the article after the fact of my quote. So your Post is moot reference my quote.
     
  5. BaltimoreMediaBlog macrumors 6502

    BaltimoreMediaBlog

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    #330
    The disturbing part of Apple's response is that it is patently FALSE. There is no technical way that the iPhone 7 & 8 could NOT have an FM chip in them. FM is simply within the cell phone frequency ranges. Unless Apple is having special chips made (which they have not so far), this is simply untrue. The only thing Apple could have done is deliberately disconnected any connection for an antenna. Even with that, it makes them look bad.

    What a lot of people do not realize is that during emergencies, most TV & Radio stations have backup generators to stay on the air. Cell phone towers do not. That is another reason why Apple's response is so poor.

    I hope Ajit Pai stands his ground. Tim Cook is no engineer. He's a bean counter.
     
  6. jdsingle macrumors regular

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    #331
    If people require FM access on their phone to survive, there are bigger problems present than whether or not Apple includes this capability in the iPhone. How about the government focus on getting people to have an emergency plan first? I'm guessing the majority of the people in this thread whining about this don't even have an emergency plan in place should a disaster (natural or man made) hit.
     
  7. triptolemus, Sep 30, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017

    triptolemus macrumors 6502

    triptolemus

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    #332
    You do not know what you are talking about. FM means frequency modulation, and is a method of broadcasting a signal on any frequency, cell phone or otherwise. Cell phone frequency ranges have nothing to do with FM; indeed cell systems do not use FM, they use QAM in many instances.

    "FM Radio" operates at around 88 MHz to 108 MHz.

    Cell phones operate on several bands, including 850 MHz, 1900 MHz, 700 MHz, 2100 MHz, and others.

    Many (not all, and perhaps not most) cell coverage areas are equipped with towers that have backup generators.
     
  8. BaltimoreMediaBlog macrumors 6502

    BaltimoreMediaBlog

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    #333
    You can argue over semantics all you want, but Apple uses the same transmitter chips that Samsung is using so the tech is there!
    That part of Apple's statement is patently FALSE. The only way Apple's statement could be true is if Apple deliberately damaged the transmitter chips so that functionality would no longer work. And if they did that, it's even worse for Apple in my opinion.

    And no, none of Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands apparently had backup generators on their cell phone towers. Otherwise it wouldn't have been over a week of no communication. The reality of what happened has proven you wrong.

    The emergency plan is already in place in the US. It's called EAS (the Emergency Alert System) and Apple is refusing to participate in it via FM radio even though its phones are capable of it.
     
  9. triptolemus macrumors 6502

    triptolemus

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    #334
    I'm just saying that if your post is going to use words like FACTS and make claims as to what various pieces of equipment have and do not have and what they are and are not capable of, you should at least appear to know what you're talking about, semantical or not.

    But please, do carry on with your rant. Explain to me what a frequency is again!
     
  10. BaltimoreMediaBlog, Sep 30, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017

    BaltimoreMediaBlog macrumors 6502

    BaltimoreMediaBlog

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    #335
    But I proved you WRONG. Apple is using the same Qualcomm and Intel chips as Sumsung and other cell phone manufacturers that have FM receivers. How is there no FM receiver in Apple's SAME chips? Unless you can explain that, you're completely wrong as is Apple yet you keep arguing a useless point over FM propagation over QAM. You're making a completely useless comparison to my statement.

    I've yet to hear anyone explain Tim Cook and Apple's complete LIE to its customers and to hurricane survivors who Apple was of no use to.

    Even if you proved my explanation as wrong in describing FM by using the wrong term, my point still stands and is true.

    I love Apple products, but Apple's arrogance and just outright dismissive attitude to this EAS problem is extremely troubling to me.

    And btw, for those arguing that Ajit Pai is just arguing for 75 year old technology. he is actually one of the chief supporters of Next Generation TV (ATSC 3.0) on cell phones. So this guy is not just some government policy person.
     
  11. C DM macrumors Westmere

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    Oct 17, 2011
    #336
    What about what's mentioned at https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...iphones-updated.2073441/page-11#post-25143347
     
  12. Tork macrumors regular

    Tork

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    #337
    Yep, case closed on this whole issue. And nobody has really clamored for FM functionality the past, and it’s doubtful it’ll happen in the future given the industry-wide move towards wireless audio and charging so an antenna long enough to receive FM won’t be possible.

    Moral of the story: Buy a cheap battery operated radio that’ll receive both AM and FM if you live in a disaster prone area. It’ll last waaaay longer than a cell phone’s charge would anyway, so do it even if your phone CAN receive FM. I live in an area where severe storms and tornadoes aren’t uncommon, and it’s a no-brainer.
     
  13. BaltimoreMediaBlog macrumors 6502

    BaltimoreMediaBlog

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    #338
    Like I said, if Apple did deliberately chang the chips for no other reason than to disable this function, then I think there should be some HELL to PAY for abandoning hurricane victims. Everybody else is being criticized.

    Why is Timmy Cook somehow immune from this? Is he somehow more pure in his GREED?

    Oh, that's right, it's just a FEATURE Hurricane victims! UGH!

    This story is maddening to me. I can't see how the more we know, anyone can support Apple going to all this trouble to DISABLE a feature such as this.

    Ajit Pai is not going to drop this, and I don't disagree with him.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 1, 2017 ---
    The point here is that everyone has a cell phone in any disaster today. Few people except in cars have radios anymore.

    So I think you missed the point.
     
  14. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

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    #339
    I completely agree - if an area is without power for days, weeks or months then an FM receiver built into a phone is going to be pretty useless anyway because there would be no way to charge it!

    If you live in an area where FM reception may be important investing $20 or so in a portable FM radio and a bunch of batteries has got to be the best option
     
  15. cmaier, Oct 1, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2017

    cmaier macrumors G3

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    #340
    I am an engineer. You are wrong. The frequency ranges don’t overlap. And even if they did, the chips are designed to decode OFDM and QAM, not FM and AM.

    Your argument is like saying all trains can be used on highways because they have wheels. They’re not the right kind of wheels.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 1, 2017 ---
    I demand that all iPhones include built in desalinization units. In a crisis that could be handy.

    Also, all iPhones should contain the engineering faculty from Stanford university. In a crisis of misinformation, they could be used to inform laypeople that not all radio waves are the same.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 1, 2017 ---

    They are not using the same chips. The way these suppliers number chips is that all chips which use the same OFDM/QAM core are numbered with an identical prefix. That’s the part that’s the same. There is additional identifying information that appears on bills of sale and documents the public doesn’t see. But these are all SoCs, and differ slightly from major customer to major customer depending on the customer’s requirements.

    This is the primary benefit of the SoC vs ASIC design methodology - easy customization by use of defined buses on chip. Differences between different Broadcom chips with seemingly identical part numbers, for example, have come up in various public court documents if you look for them.
     
  16. deanthedev macrumors regular

    deanthedev

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    #341
    I’m sure Apple requested a change to the chip to drop FM radio functionality. But not because of Tim Cooks greed (a ridiculous assertion on your part) and not to abandon hurricane victims (another ridiculous assertion).

    As someone who works in this field the most logical explanation is much simpler: it’s pointless to have a component in a battery operated device consuming power when it’s not needed. Therefore Apple would have manufacturers create versions specific to their needs with only the minimum components they require, and nothing else.
     
  17. MadeTheSwitch macrumors 6502a

    MadeTheSwitch

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    #342
    Interestingly it's an argument against your desired cell phone usage as well. Can't run your phone without a battery so how are you going to connect to the hardened cell phone towers that you propose?

    My way is still better as a crank or solar charger will likely find a radio station. You're hardened cell tower? Eh...could be dicey. What if the ones near you aren't hardened yet? Could be weeks before they become operational again. I'd trust a few radio stations before relying on literally hundereds of towers in the region I am in.

    It might not remain, but getting a radio station back up that can broadcast 60 or more miles will be a priority. Radio stations are even part of the EBS, so getting the one up in your area that relays the messages to cable companies and other outlets would be the first priority. Not getting Sprint/Verizon/Tmo, etc. up on a cell by cell basis. If cell had the reach of radio, sure. But it doesn't. It's limiting factor is distance. So much easier (and faster!) to get a radio station up than trying to get 60 mile radius of cell phone towers which would take weeks potentially.

    Radio worked fine in disaster warnings before. I don't know why you think it wouldn't warn people of things properly now.

    Nice idea, but I don't think a drone can stay aloft indefinitely and would be subject to that same cell distance problem mentioned above.

    Not if the roads are impassable you won't be.

    Great if you never leave the house. Not so great if you go to work, school, stores, etc.

    Pretty much everywhere is potentially prone to disasters. Earthquake, flood, nuclear meltdown, hurricane, ice storm, tornado, asteroid, alien invasion, zombie apocalypse...something's eventually going to happen. :D

    As for radio, I don't see everyone carrying one around with them everywhere they go. That would be a little inconvenient putting both my phone AND a radio in my pocket all day walking around the city. I could use a backback I suppose. But backpacks are inconvenient, weigh a lot and some stores frown on them, so those aren't ideal either. It's a tough issue that could be solved if we just started thinking of the one device we already have as an emergency lifeline device and beef up charging technology instead of trying to make them paper thin.

    If power is out for months, won't you eventually run out of batteries for any other form of communication you have as well?
     
  18. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

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    #343
    Yes, they wouldn't last forever (depending on how many batteries you stockpiled it could be days, months or years) but a dedicated radio will use batteries at a much slower rate than a cell phone would. You could also get a wind up or solar powered radio such as this

    The point is that a dedicated FM radio is far more power efficient than a cell phone being used as a radio (which, if the towers were down would be the only thing it could be used for) and I really don't see the necessity to force manufacturers to include FM capabilities in cell phones
     
  19. flat five macrumors 601

    flat five

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    #344
    not my idea.. and it's more than just an idea.

    https://www.theverge.com/2015/7/30/9074925/facebook-aquila-solar-internet-plane

    Facebook's plans to become a flying internet service provider for the developing world are coming to fruition. The company today introduced Aquila, a high-flying, long-endurance plane that will bring basic internet access to the developing world. A working model of the plane is now ready for testing, Facebook said.

    Facebook's shallow, V-shaped plane has the wingspan of a Boeing 737. But even fully loaded down with communications gear, Aquila only weighs between 880 to 1,000 lbs — about a third the weight of a Prius. "When deployed, it will be able to circle a remote region for up to 90 days, beaming connectivity down to people from an altitude of 60,000 to 90,000 [feet]," the company said in a blog post. This means the planes will be flying at an altitude above commercial aircraft, and even above the weather.


    -----------------------------------------------------
    as far as this other stuff goes.. srry, i've lost interest in discussing.. feels like i'm mostly talking to some old dudes caught up in some sort of nostalgia thing.. (which is fine btw.. i'm not knocking that)

    further, when it comes down to it, this is out of our hands..
    it's big business VS big government.. we can bicker about it ITT for years and it won't change anything.
     
  20. BaltimoreMediaBlog macrumors 6502

    BaltimoreMediaBlog

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    #345
    The funny thing is that while you attempted to humiliate me by stating you're an engineer, you STILL DIDN'T PROVE that Apple is correct. Nothing you said proves there are no FM receiving chips in Apple iPhones. In fact, the vast majority of other posts here and elsewhere prove you wrong. Even Apple didn't make the claim that no iPhone contains an FM reception chip or a connection to an antenna. They only claimed 2 models didn't. And that claim is suspicious in nature and STILL unproven. The FCC certifies these phones. So I guess they just don't know because you know better as an "engineer." Ok, next?

    I simply think Apple has a marketing reason not to enable the chips. And if they don't, why don't they enable the FM in all prior iPhones to the iPhone 7 now per the FCC request? Is this really that costly of an expense?

    When Apple blocks ATSC 3.0 TV on iPhones are you going to back that too? I would bet the farm that Tim Cook fears that far worse. Imagine FREE TV on your iPhone, that you don't even have to buy?
     
  21. cmaier macrumors G3

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    #346
    Sigh. Yes, I was referring to iPhone 7 and 8.

    And the only evidence we have is apple’s statement. There is no evidence to the contrary. It’s not my job to prove anything - Apple, who would know, had stated those phones (which are actually four models) don’t have the chips. If you want to make the extraordinary accusation that they are lying to the FCC, the burden of proof is on you, not me.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 1, 2017 ---
    And, by the way, your “they are the same frequencies” argument remains utter nonsense, easily disproven, and shows that your argument rests on decrepit foundations.

    Go get a PhD in electrical engineering and then come back and explain how a ofdm receiver can demodulate fm signals, and do so in different frequency bands that they weren’t designed for.
     
  22. MadeTheSwitch, Oct 1, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2017

    MadeTheSwitch macrumors 6502a

    MadeTheSwitch

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    #347
    You are way too dismissive of older people. :rolleyes: And here I was ready to pay you a compliment for the facebook post. Although, it is two years old and still don't see this deployed, so who knows when it would be ready. Puerto Rico sure could use it right now.
     
  23. BaltimoreMediaBlog macrumors 6502

    BaltimoreMediaBlog

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    #348
    The FCC certified the iPhones. They are the one making the demand of Apple.

    I am simply backing up their reason for why its important to the criticize Apple's decision, but that's probably not a good idea in a group of an Apple-defending people where Apple never does wrong. So I'll leave it at that.

    The original article shows the FM chips are out there in statistics. I don't need a Phd to prove that.
     
  24. cmaier macrumors G3

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    #349
    The fcc certification documents, publically available, do not list FM.
     
  25. flat five macrumors 601

    flat five

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    #350
    i apologize if that came off as offensive.

    i should of said i just feel like i'm bickering in the thread now and i'll bow out for that reason.

    i'll see you around in some other threads where we can fire it up again ;)
     

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