You may not know this but almost all iPhones come with an FM radio chip installed. The reason being that almost all phones use Qualcomm’s LTE modem chip which actually has a FM radio component built in.
In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Irma and Maria thousands of Americans experienced widespread cell network failure. When cell networks fail the only reliable communication comes from Radio. Because of this, the FCC is asking that Apple activate all FM radio chips on their products.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement on Thursday, “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.”
Unfortunately, Apple is the only phone provider who still refuses to activate the chips. Apple has said that the most recent generation of iPhones don’t actually have a radio chip installed. Though, they haven’t given a reason for not activating the chips on older models, which make up a majority of iPhone owners.