Samsung Becomes the Latest OEM to Unlock the FM Chips in its Phones

Greedy operators have been preventing the activation of the FM chip in smartphones for a long time, but things are about the change – and in a good way.

FM radio might be seen as dated by many, and then some, but it cannot be scrapped as obsolete just yet. Not only is it free, but it can also be essential in areas with weak connectivity and in critical situations where the connection can often be the difference between life and death.

Imagine yourself lying on a remote beach, you only hear the waves and the seagulls and there is no internet connection. What do you do if you want some entertainment? You turn on the radio! However, not all of us can do that with our smartphones because they come with a locked FM chip! Sounds ridiculous, but it’s true.

While most of the smartphones are manufactured with a built-in FM chip capable of receiving free FM radio signals, hardware makers and carriers often chose not to unlock them because they profit from streaming data. Pretty sneaky, right? Robbing us of the only thing that can provide a good time and some entertainment without imposing a charge.

However, the tide seems to be turning with Samsung, the world’s top smartphone manufacturer, announcing that it will enable the dormant FM chips in all its upcoming smartphones in the US and Canada.

The company has announced a new partnership with NextRadio which will unlock the FM chip in its smartphones, allowing users to tune in to their favorite local stations via the NextRadio Android app.

The apps use significantly fewer resources than traditional streaming services (up to 20% less data) as well as three times less battery.

The move will see Samsung follow in the footsteps of LG, which made a similar announcement last week, and Sprint – the first company to break the ice back in 2013.

Paul Brenner, President of NextRadio heaped praise on Samsung for making this happen.

Samsung should be lauded for taking this important step,” Mr. Brenner said.

“They are providing their customers a more engaging, immersive radio experience and, as importantly, a means to connect with life-saving information in emergencies.”

Apple has also been urged to unlock the FM chips in its iPhones, but the company has since announced that its latest devices don’t even have FM capability.

Well, it’s about time these giants of industry started thinking just a little bit of the consumers. And we are all tired of paying for absolutely anything. They could squeeze water out of a rock if they could. It’s time that changed for good and this looks like a tiny little step, but it’s a step forward.

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