As we found out at the time, the iPhone (and most phones) have a built-in FM radio antenna. Not to listen to the radio itself, but to be used as a connecting antenna. However, for different reasons, Apple does not activate it on the phone to listen to the radio directly.
This could change, and according to Recode, one of the members of the FCC in the United States, firmly believes that the iPhone and other devices should have built-in radio, because of a safety issue . According to Ajit Pai, having access to the radio and the information it transmits increases people’s safety if a problem occurs and there is no mobile or data connection.
Ajit Pai has already commented that they are not going to force Apple or any company to activate the FM chip in their phones. Even if they did, it could take years to activate it, because is not just a matter of software , you would have to improve the antenna to make it powerful enough (until now the iPod for example needed the headphones to act as an antenna and use the radio).
This is all a matter of seeking perfection. Apple could have easily implemented the FM radio from the beginning. Improving the antenna doesn’t cost much and creating an app or using the Music app directly to play stations isn’t too difficult either.
The problem is that is an obsolete communication channel , where not enough information is transmitted to be broadcast on a smartphone. Nowadays you can listen to the radio directly from the Internet, and it is offered in better audio quality and with more information such as playlists, covers or the day’s schedule, something that cannot be transmitted by an FM transmitter.