Forbes Features Pro-FM Chip Article


In a piece called “Smartphone FM Radio Capabilities Enhance Public Safety at No Cost,” Forbes contributor Steve Pociask points out how vital radio is during times of emergency. “The value of FM radio has been demonstrated again and again.” Pociask cites several examples, storm after storm, where residents affected by disaster turned to radio.

One of those examples was Hurricane Isaac in 2012. “Most of New Orleans was without power for three to five days. Across the city, cell phone service didn’t work, power outages prevented access to TV, and Internet connectivity was unreliable or non-existent. During that time, local radio stations broadcasted 24 hours a day, providing critical information and comfort to the city’s residents. Without the lifeline that radio communications provided, confusion and chaos would have been greatly exacerbated.”

Pociask says enabling FM radio capabilities comes at virtually no cost, either to consumers or the manufacturing industry. “Given the benefits, manufacturers who do not already make FM radio available to their customers should strongly consider doing so. Manufacturers should do all they can to make this life-saving technology even more widely available to consumers.”

Read the full article HERE.


  1. FM on smartphones, not a good idea.
    FM ability in smartphones could and would damage the income from digital sales. Who would want that? Many companies including cell phone providers benefit from selling content. A bucket of money is being made on digital sales (song downloads, paid for streaming, etc) and that could be jeopardized by free, handy FM radio. The biggest drawback of FM radio on the phone is the total monotony of the programing. (except for talk radio) FM programing plainly is the worst thing to push down our throats since canned spam. After one hour it all repeats itself. How many of you pushing for FM chips in the phone have actually listened to the product? It’s not well and is getting worse.

  2. The Forbes article begins, “Most smartphone users can access FM radio signals by downloading a simple app; no additional equipment is needed. Unfortunately, not all smartphone manufacturers have activated the FM chips inside their phones, depriving their customers of this potentially lifesaving feature.”

    This simply isn’t true, at least if iPhones matter.

    Apple hasn’t had FM chips in their phones since the iPhone 6s, and even that one did not have an antenna connection. The ones since then have no headphone jack, and FM radios require either a whip antenna or a headphone cord in lieu of one. (FM waves received are much longer than those used by cellular ones, which are short enough for antennas within a phone to receive them.)

    Apps can’t activate something that isn’t there.

    Both the supply and the demand side of the portable radio business have all but gone away. (Radio Shack, anyone?) If the FCC wants to save radio from being complete sidelined by streams, podcasting and satellite (and radios by phones), it should require that manufacturers continue to provide it, with high minimum standards for quality. For lack of high quality requirements AM is almost dead, and FM is beyond mature. Look at HD. It makes AM sound great, but few radios feature it and only two stations in New York have it. On FM, HD cleans up analog signals trashed by high-rises; yet stations (latest: WFUV and WEPN) are dropping it. If the FCC required it, with minimum receiver standards, both bands would be in better shape.

    And what are the chances of that ever happening, especially in a time when deregulation is the prevailing mandate?


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