After the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai asked Apple to activate an FM radio in its iPhones for emergencies, Apple on Friday replied that its iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 devices do not have FM chips.
"Apple is the one major phone manufacturer that has resisted (activating the chips). But I hope the company will reconsider its position, given the devastation wrought by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria," Pai said in a statement on Thursday.
Replying to Pai, Apple said: "The 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."
"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.
"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," Pai added.
Smartphone manufacturers like Samsung, LG, Motorola and HTC have started selling their devices with the FM tuner enabled.
"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'," Pai noted.