Most Americans do not realize that every smartphone contains an FM Chip. If every chip was activated, all smartphones would able to receive FM Radio for free. Unfortunately, many service providers do not want to give up the revenue made from data use when consumers are forced to listen to their favorite radio stations through streaming platforms. The NAB has lobbied Washington D.C. lawmakers as well as telecommunication companies to activate the FM chips for several reasons, most notably the access to FM Radio during natural disasters like the floods that hit South Louisiana in the summer of 2016. Many residents lost cell service and electricity leaving radio as their only source of information.
NAB Pilot recently released some updated statistics from a study done in the 3rd Quarter of 2016:
PILOT has observed the activation of FM reception capabilities in popular smartphones since 2012, and has reported its findings throughout the period. When our analysis began, the percentage of smartphones with FM reception capability was in the single digits. In its most recent report, however, PILOT announces that an important milestone has been reached.
In the third quarter of 2016, PILOT’s analysis shows that the number of top-selling smartphones sold with FM reception capability enabled by at least one carrier has for the first time matched those sold without FM capability.
January 30th, 2017