FCC chairman Ajit Pai isn’t too happy with Apple banning FM Radio on its iPhones. The company has included an FM Radio on almost all of its phones, but Cupertino disables the FM chip on its iPhones out of the box for unknown reasons. While FM Radio isn’t used regularly by most users nowadays, it’s still being widely used for many different purposes.
And that’s exactly why Ajit Pai wants Apple to enable the FM chip on its iPhones. “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. I applaud those companies that have done the right thing by activating the FM chips in their phones. Apple is the one major phone manufacturer that has resisted doing so. But I hope the company will reconsider its position,” Pai said in a statement released by the FCC on Thursday.
Citing safety issues, Pai urged the iPhone maker to activate the FM chip on its products. Pai mentioned the recent natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey and Irma, stating that FM chips on phones can obtain information that could potentially be life-saving. Pai said:
“I hope the company [Apple] 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. It is time for Apple to step up to the plate and put the safety of the American people first. As the Sun Sentinel of South Florida put it, ‘Do the right thing, Mr. Cook. Flip the switch. Lives depend on it.’”
Apple is yet to respond to FCC’s request, but it’ll be quite interesting to see if the company decides to enable the FM chips on its iPhones after all these years.