APPLE HAS RESPONDED to a request from the FCC that urged it to activate FM chips inside iPhones that, er, don't exist.
FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai issued a statement on Thursday that called upon Apple to switch on FM radios in the name of public safety, following a series of hurricanes and floods in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico in recent weeks.
"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," Pai said. "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, given the devastation wrought by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria."
He added that he wants Apple to "step up to the plate and put the safety of the American people first."
Apple has been quick to respond to the public shaming and has that that it can't switch the FM radio chips on because, er, they don't exist, and haven't been included inside iPhones since the iPhone 6S.
"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," the firm said.
"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."
The thing is, the FCC probably already knew this. It must test all radio devices thoroughly before they are eligible for sale in the US, so it's likely that it already knew that the FM radio was not present in new iPhones.
Pai's push to get FM chips enabled in smartphones is nothing new. "In recent years, I have repeatedly called on the wireless industry to activate the FM chips that are already installed in almost all smartphones sold in the United States," he said.
"And I've specifically pointed out the public safety benefits of doing so." µ
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