According to an article in Bloomberg, critics say its because Apple doesn’t want to cannibalize its streaming service by giving iPhone owners access to free radio. When listening to audio through an app and not the FM Chip, consumers have to pay for the data they use. If they were listening through an FM Chip already installed on the phone there would be no charge for data.
Bloomberg says Apple’s decision not to turn on the FM Chip could be putting lives in danger. It was just last week that Senator Bill Nelson called for FM Chips to be activated in all mobile phones, and he said he would work on getting that done. The Sun Sentinel even jumped on the FM Chip bandwagon in an editorial. So it seems, at least in the hard hit areas of Florida and Puerto Rico there’s a little movement going here. Whether that spreads across the country remains to be seen.
Apple tells Bloomberg there are several other features for emergencies on their phones so the FM Chip really isn’t needed. The company says it cares deeply about the safety of its customers, especially during times of crisis. “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.”
An Apple spokeswoman said the iPhone 7 and 8 don’t include radio chips or antennas designed to support FM signals, so it wouldn’t be possible to enable FM reception in those products.
Read the entire Bloomberg article HERE.