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  1. Thread AuthorThread Author   #1  
    Annie_i6s's Avatar
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    Default Why hasn't Apple unlocked the FM chip in the iPhone?

    I keep hearing and seeing commercials about Next Radio, which "combines broadcast radio with the internet". The actual focus of the commercials encourages folks to download their app so that they can get news in case of some sort of disaster/weather emergency. Apparently, it's not available on Apple devices because Apple has not unlocked the FM chip.

    I'm just thinking it would be nice to have access to an FM radio in case of an emergency and am wondering why Apple hasn't unlocked the chip. Do any of you have any idea why this might be?
  2. Best Answer

    Quote Originally Posted by iDrizzy01 View Post
    The tech world has moved on from FM radio. So move on... Sorry
    I listen to FM radio almost daily. Just saying.

  3. #2  

    Default Re: Next Radio

    Won't happen. There's a lot more to an FM radio than just turning on a chip. Even if the hardware were available, there wouldn't be room for it all. The antenna itself would take a lot of space. You're better off buying a small FM radio.
  4. #3  

    Default Re: Why hasn't Apple unlocked the FM chip in the iPhone?

    In addition, you can already receive emergency-related information via the iPhone. Simply go to Settings → Notifications, and then scroll down to the bottom to enable the toggle next to "AMBER Alerts" and "Emergency Alerts".
  5. #4  
    iDrizzy01's Avatar
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    Default Why hasn't Apple unlocked the FM chip in the iPhone?

    The tech world has moved on from FM radio. So move on... Sorry
    friscosooner likes this.
  6. #5  

    Default Re: Why hasn't Apple unlocked the FM chip in the iPhone?

    Quote Originally Posted by iDrizzy01 View Post
    The tech world has moved on from FM radio. So move on... Sorry
    I listen to FM radio almost daily. Just saying.
  7. #6  

    Default Why hasn't Apple unlocked the FM chip in the iPhone?

    Quote Originally Posted by DevilishBanker View Post
    I listen to FM radio almost daily. Just saying.
    As do I. ESPN FM during my AM and PM commutes
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    iDrizzy01's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why hasn't Apple unlocked the FM chip in the iPhone?

    Quote Originally Posted by DevilishBanker View Post
    I listen to FM radio almost daily. Just saying.
    On your phone or car radio?
  9. #8  
    iDrizzy01's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why hasn't Apple unlocked the FM chip in the iPhone?

    Quote Originally Posted by mumfoau View Post
    As do I. ESPN FM during my AM and PM commutes
    On your phone? I doubt that. You hardly get that feature on recent flagship phones nowadays, even on Android phones. You wanna listen to FM radio, get a transistor radio. I mean there is reason why OEMs don't put them on smartphones these days. Try to to get my point.
  10. #9  

    Default Re: Why hasn't Apple unlocked the FM chip in the iPhone?

    Quote Originally Posted by iDrizzy01 View Post
    On your phone or car radio?
    My car. I was responding to your previous comment.
  11. #10  
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    Default Re: Why hasn't Apple unlocked the FM chip in the iPhone?

    Quote Originally Posted by DevilishBanker View Post
    My car. I was responding to your previous comment.
    Ok
  12. Thread AuthorThread Author   #11  
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    Default Re: Why hasn't Apple unlocked the FM chip in the iPhone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Just_Me_D View Post
    In addition, you can already receive emergency-related information via the iPhone. Simply go to Settings → Notifications, and then scroll down to the bottom to enable the toggle next to "AMBER Alerts" and "Emergency Alerts".
    I've got that enabled, but I rarely receive Amber Alerts! But that could be because we haven't had many in our area. The commercials advertising this made it sound like iPhones came with FM receivers already built in. I didn't know if that was just propaganda or not!

    And supposedly, this is supposed to work when data and networks are not available. The app is available for all Androids.

    And for the record, I also listen to FM radio all day long... in my car, and at work iHeart radio. Since I live in an area where tornadoes and flooding occur fairly often, I was curious about this option.
  13. #12  

    Default Re: Why hasn't Apple unlocked the FM chip in the iPhone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Annie_i6s View Post
    I keep hearing and seeing commercials about Next Radio, which "combines broadcast radio with the internet". The actual focus of the commercials encourages folks to download their app so that they can get news in case of some sort of disaster/weather emergency.
    Quote Originally Posted by Annie_i6s View Post
    And supposedly, this is supposed to work when data and networks are not available. The app is available for all Androids.
    Its an app. By definition it requires internet either by cellular or by WiFi, which means it is inherently unsuitable for emergency communication.

    If the tornado or earthquake takes out your local cell tower(s) you WILL lose service just when you need it most. Even if you don't lose service you will be splitting the phone's limited battery power between radio and your other communication needs, and you have to decide the priority - do you talk to your family or listen for emergency broadcasts on radio?. Let me put it another way... will you rely on the "torch" app in your smartphone to be your emergency light, or do you have something more conventional?

    I work in an industry where duplication of communication equipment is routine, and those who live long enough to learn understand that it is better to have several devices with "one function per box" rather than one single multipurpose device. My personal opinion, buy a small standalone radio and don't give yourself a single point of failure. Your car provides one potential proper radio and it has plenty of battery power available. You could even consider one of the hand generated emergency radios and go battery-free if you think batteries might be a potential risk.
    kch50428 and qbnkelt like this.
  14. Thread AuthorThread Author   #13  
    Annie_i6s's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why hasn't Apple unlocked the FM chip in the iPhone?

    Thank you for the explanation. I wasn't all that eager about downloading the app, but with all the hype on television and radio regarding emergency preparedness, I was merely curious. And your point about a small standalone radio is well taken. And of course there are our car radios as well.
  15. #14  
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    Default Re: Next Radio

    Quote Originally Posted by Ledsteplin View Post
    Won't happen. There's a lot more to an FM radio than just turning on a chip. Even if the hardware were available, there wouldn't be room for it all. The antenna itself would take a lot of space. You're better off buying a small FM radio.
    This is not true. BlackBerry Passport had FM radio on board and did not require anything like what you are insinuating would be required.
  16. #15  

    Default Why hasn't Apple unlocked the FM chip in the iPhone?

    Quote Originally Posted by dejanh View Post
    This is not true. BlackBerry Passport had FM radio on board and did not require anything like what you are insinuating would be required.
    Blackberry is not an iPhone. It would require space for the hardware. Might could be done, but I don't see Apple giving up thinness for FM radio.
    Last edited by Ledsteplin; 06-08-2016 at 04:31 PM.
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  17. #16  
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    Default Re: Why hasn't Apple unlocked the FM chip in the iPhone?

    The iPod nano has a built in FM receiver. It uses the headphone cable or audio out cable as an antenna. The one built into the 5th gen also had good sensitivity. Wife used one in her office for several years. Most other radios didn't work in her building.

    iPhones have had FM radio receivers for several generations, but Apple had them disabled. It was part of one of the chipsets. I am not sure if the 6 series still has it built in or not, but it wouldn't make the device any thicker by enabling it.
    ritesh and Annie_i6s like this.
  18. #17  
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    Default Re: Why hasn't Apple unlocked the FM chip in the iPhone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Annie_i6s View Post
    Thank you for the explanation. I wasn't all that eager about downloading the app, but with all the hype on television and radio regarding emergency preparedness, I was merely curious. And your point about a small standalone radio is well taken. And of course there are our car radios as well.
    You could also consider the: Sony MW1 Bluetooth Headset Built-in FM Radio and MP3 Player or similar wired/wireless headphones with inbuilt FM radio.
    Annie_i6s likes this.
  19. #18  
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    Default Re: Why hasn't Apple unlocked the FM chip in the iPhone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ledsteplin View Post
    Blackberry is not an iPhone. It would require space for the hardware. Might could be done, but I don't see Apple giving up thinness for FM radio.
    My issue is with your entire premise which is baseless as you have no evidence to support your claim, yet you state it as fact.
  20. #19  

    Default Re: Why hasn't Apple unlocked the FM chip in the iPhone?

    Quote Originally Posted by dejanh View Post
    My issue is with your entire premise which is baseless as you have no evidence to support your claim, yet you state it as fact.
    The National Association Of Broadcasters say that streaming an FM audio feed can drain a smartphone battery real fast. Also that on the iPhone, the antenna would have to be built in, which could add bulk. Google it!
    TwitchyPuppy likes this.
  21. #20  
    Honey Beagle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why hasn't Apple unlocked the FM chip in the iPhone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Annie_i6s View Post
    I keep hearing and seeing commercials about Next Radio, which "combines broadcast radio with the internet". The actual focus of the commercials encourages folks to download their app so that they can get news in case of some sort of disaster/weather emergency. Apparently, it's not available on Apple devices because Apple has not unlocked the FM chip.

    I'm just thinking it would be nice to have access to an FM radio in case of an emergency and am wondering why Apple hasn't unlocked the chip. Do any of you have any idea why this might be?
    I heard on The Tech Guy show the FM chip is unlocked. Only in the USA it is not.
    Annie_i6s likes this.
  22. #21  
    eve6er69's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why hasn't Apple unlocked the FM chip in the iPhone?

    My Lenovo tablet has an fm radio built in. It uses the headphones as an antenna.
  23. #22  
    dejanh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why hasn't Apple unlocked the FM chip in the iPhone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ledsteplin View Post
    The National Association Of Broadcasters say that streaming an FM audio feed can drain a smartphone battery real fast. Also that on the iPhone, the antenna would have to be built in, which could add bulk. Google it!
    See Post above. Same solution was employed on the BlackBerry Passport. No need for an antenna to be built in. As for the former, I was streaming FM radio on the Passport when I still had it and did not notice the excessive battery drain you mention. Nothing to Google here actually.
  24. #23  

    Default Why hasn't Apple unlocked the FM chip in the iPhone?

    Quote Originally Posted by dejanh View Post
    See Post above. Same solution was employed on the BlackBerry Passport. No need for an antenna to be built in. As for the former, I was streaming FM radio on the Passport when I still had it and did not notice the excessive battery drain you mention. Nothing to Google here actually.
    Again, you're talking Blackberry. That's not an iPhone! You don't know much about Apple do you?
    There's a missing appropriate antenna and amplifier chip dedicated to driving that antenna. Unlike the Murata chip that doesn't take up any extra space in the phone.
    Could it be done? Absolutely. But Apple wants a very thin iPhone. No extra bulk. Besides, FM is apparently on the way out. And Apple knows this.
    Last edited by Ledsteplin; 06-10-2016 at 08:30 AM.
  25. #24  

    Default Re: Why hasn't Apple unlocked the FM chip in the iPhone?

    The last thing Apple wants is a reason to keep that pesky headphone jack.
    Annie_i6s likes this.
  26. #25  
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    Default Re: Why hasn't Apple unlocked the FM chip in the iPhone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ledsteplin View Post
    Again, you're talking Blackberry. That's not an iPhone! You don't know much about Apple do you?
    There's a missing appropriate antenna and amplifier chip dedicated to driving that antenna. Unlike the Murata chip that doesn't take up any extra space in the phone.
    Could it be done? Absolutely. But Apple wants a very thin iPhone. No extra bulk. Besides, FM is apparently on the way out. And Apple knows this.
    Now we're on the same page. They can do it. They don't want to. Reason - none. They just don't want to. This is very Apple, that much I know.

    Quote Originally Posted by DevilishBanker View Post
    The last thing Apple wants is a reason to keep that pesky headphone jack.
    Hahahaha, yes. We'll see how that works out for them.
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