Most modern smartphones have chipsets that have an FM chip. This means that most smartphones – given the right app and access to said chip – have the capability to receive free FM radio signals. A lot of manufacturers for devices in the Asian market have freely given this feature to users, but until recently, major manufacturers have kept this chip locked. Samsung is finally changing that.
Samsung, in cooperation with the NextRadio app, has announced that it will be unlocking the FM radio chip in upcoming devices it will be releasing in the US and Canada. Samsung is joining LG, Motorola, and Alcatel in this move, and there is a lot of logic behind it. Given that the hardware for most phones is usually ready to receive FM radio signals, another big reason is that listening to radio via the FM chip uses less battery and data than streaming radio apps.
“Samsung should be lauded for taking this important step,” said Paul Brenner, President of NextRadio powered by TagStation. “They are providing their customers a more engaging, immersive radio experience and, as importantly, a means to connect with life-saving information in emergencies.”
In times of disaster or emergencies and cellular coverage is unavailable, the FM Chip will provides what could be life-saving information from local radio stations. Natural disasters in Puerto Rico, Houston and the Florida coast, have increased pressure on phone manufacturers to unlock the FM Chip in smartphones as a matter of public safety.