Samsung joins with NextRadio to unlock FM chip in upcoming phones


The company has announced that users will be able to access local FM radio through apps such as NextRadio that connects smartphones to nearby radio stations.

"Samsung should be lauded for taking this important step", said Paul Brenner, President of NextRadio powered by TagStation. Aside from the nostalgia factor, FM radio broadcasts can be life-saving, especially in emergency situations when information is transmitted via radio waves.

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Just months after the FCC badgered Apple to do it; Samsung has finally chose to unlock the FM chip on its upcoming smartphone models. The same company has now teamed up with Samsung which means that the Korean giant's upcoming smartphones in the USA will have their FM chip enabled. Samsung is joining LG, Motorola, and Alcatel in this move, and there is a lot of logic behind it.

TagStation, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Emmis Communications Corporation.

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Once enabled, FM radio will be available to Samsung users in the United States and Canada. This uses less battery and less data than streaming radio apps.

The FCC previously asked Apple to unlock the radio chip in their smartphones, although Apple revealed that iPhones from the iPhone 7 onward do not actually have the hardware installed. At the time, Apple claimed their newer phones didn't contain these chips to begin with and thus could not activate them upon request. A NextRadio blog adds, "On the heels of widespread natural disasters in Puerto Rico, Houston and the Florida coast, calls have increased for all phone manufacturers to unlock the FM Chip in smartphones as a public safety necessity". FM mechanisms in smartphones commonly use the headphone wire as the FM antenna, to the extent that they won't function without the headphones plugged in.

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