The world’s biggest seller of mobile devices recently became the newest phone maker to decide to welcome FM service to its upcoming smartphone releases, with the help of NextRadio. Indeed, Samsung has declared that it will be unlocking the FM chips present in all of its new handsets in the United States and Canadian mobile markets.
Not many people realize this, but most of today’s smartphone devices already come straight out of the factory with an FM chip. Majority of mobile manufacturers, however, just decide not to enable the chips. But NextRadio wants to change all that. For those not familiar with NextRadio, it offers a mobile app that is capable of connecting to local FM stations. As an old song goes, video may have already called the radio star, but as a medium, radio remains a useful resource. For one, radio is easy to access, and secondly, it is free of charge. And during times of emergency (when mobile connectivity might be compromised), FM radio is still considered a dependable means for transmitting and receiving information and announcements. Moreover, FM radio apps, like NextRadio’s, are more power efficient when it comes to broadcasting radio signals than the usual streaming services out there.
As for Samsung, it is far from being the only name in mobile to start activating FM chips. Some may remember that back in August of last year, LG was reported to be looking to team up with NextRadio in order to start providing free access to FM radio to mobile users based in the United States, via the South Korean tech giant’s new upcoming smartphone offerings. Major US wireless carrier Sprint had also done the same way, way back -- partnering with NextRadio almost half a decade ago. Last September, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had urgedApple to begin providing support for FM radio on iPhones, especially after a series of hurricanes had hit the country last year. But Apple has since clarified that its new iPhone models are not fitted with the compatible antennas that can detect FM radio broadcasts.
While it is true that just about everybody owns a cellular phone nowadays, cellular connectivity can still be affected by natural disasters, just like what happened relatively recently in Puerto Rico. With Samsung already in on the program, other phone makers might just start joining, too. So far, the list now includes Samsung, LG, Motorola, and Alcatel.
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