Q: Is it necessary to put my iPhone 3GS in Airplane Mode to use functions of JBL On Time 200ID such as the radio or playing back the iPhone?
A: Connecting your iPhone to an iPod-based accessory that is not specifically manufactured for the iPhone will normally pop-up a warning about needing to set the device into Airplane Mode, however this is simply a recommendation in order to reduce potential interference. The JBL On Time 200ID, for example, is not specifically shielded against interference in the speakers that may occur from the iPhone’s cellular radio, so Apple recommends that the device be set into Airplane Mode, which turns off the cellular phone portion of the iPhone, in order to reduce potential interference. Devices that are specifically labelled as Works-with-iPhone, on the other hand, are shielded against radio interference from the iPhone, and therefore do not present the Airplane Mode request screen.
The iPhone will play back audio in the same manner regardless of whether you choose to enable Airplane Mode or not when connecting to external speakers. If you choose not to enable Airplane Mode you may hear additional static noise from your speakers as a result of interference from the iPhone’s radio, but it won’t prevent the iPhone or the attached speakers from actually playing back your music or radio. On the other hand, with Airplane Mode enabled, you will avoid any potential interference but you will not be able to make or receive phone calls or use the Wi-Fi functions of your device, although audio playback and all non-Internet and phone functions will continue to operate normally.