This commentator writes:

The iPhone 6 has an FM receiver chip Apple disables, forcing you to use iTunes…

My question is: Does the iPhone 6 have a disabled chip capable of receiving FM Radio?

2 Answers 2


I wouldn't have believed a single ranting tweet, but the UK's Daily Mail also covered this recently - so it's actually likely to be true, for any given value of 'true'
[my own opinions on the Mail's foil-hat, ranty, opinionated style aside…]

The FM radio hidden in your SMARTPHONE: Mobile manufacturers are denying users the chance to listen to radio for free

  • I'm surprised that the Daily Mail even mentions the fact that a mere "enabling" of some functionality in a chip won't solve the problem.
    – nohillside
    Apr 30, 2015 at 13:39
  • I guess you've read the Mail before, then ;-) Yup, it surprised me, too that they eventually got around to mentioning why it's not usually functional.
    – Tetsujin
    Apr 30, 2015 at 13:41

It's not a chip that's disabled. It's part of it that's disabled. The function is located in the wifi/bluetooth chip for about 10 years http://www.gizmag.com/go/5201/ in most modern smartphones including iphones, androids, windows phones, blackberries etc. Some handcuffers like Apple, Samsung, LG, however, decided to lock the FM radio receiving part of the wi-fi Broadcom chip (or other manufacturers who develop such chips)

  • Does the FM reception require antenna changes or use more power or require custom software? Handcuffs imply that the arms are already built, supported, functional. I've not seen a write up showing technically what is actually possible since software designed radio receivers can pretty much receive any signal within a huge range. Effectively using that signal seems another matter entirely.
    – bmike
    Oct 27, 2015 at 15:33
  • @bmike The antenna has to be at least 1 meter long +-, because of the wavelength of the FM radio. Don't know the exact numbers, but it has to do with that. Btw. therefore the message on Nokias, many Androids, Window phones that "Please plug in a Headset to use FM radio" ;) Oct 27, 2015 at 16:14
  • Excellent John - I forgot about the old half wave dipole antennas and the newer 5/8 wave folded dipole antennas. m.wikihow.com/Make-an-FM-Antenna - perhaps an AppleTV would deliver a good listening experience if it used the shielding on the HDMI cable as an antenna. I see this as one of the "a thousand no's" that Apple famously made a short movie about for WWDC 2014.
    – bmike
    Oct 27, 2015 at 16:26

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