Samsung Becomes Latest Phone Manufacturer to Unlock the FM Chip

Future Samsung devices will come with an unlocked FM radio chip

The beloved FM radio is getting a mobile revival with news that Samsung is teaming up with NextRadio to unlock the FM chips in new Samsung devices in the United States and Canada.

Either way, it's important to remember not just the convenience of the 1933-invented FM radio broadcasting technology, but also its vital potential of conveying life-saving information in emergency situations. This means you'll be able to listen to FM radio on your Samsung smartphone.

Samsung isn't the first smartphone company to bring official FM radio support to their phones. Samsung is joining LG, Motorola, and Alcatel in this move, and there is a lot of logic behind it.

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NextRadio was developed by TagStation, which uses its cloud services to provide radio connectivity to FM-enabled devices through a device's built-in tuner and the internet. Connecting to radio directly through the FM chip will use less data and less phone battery. Founded in 2013, TagStation, LLC is headquartered in Indianapolis, IN with offices in Indianapolis and Chicago, IL. A NextRadio blog adds, "On the heels of widespread natural disasters in Puerto Rico, Houston and the Florida coast, calls have increased for all phone manufacturers to unlock the FM Chip in smartphones as a public safety necessity".

The company was (wrongly) accused of blocking the FM radio chips in iPhone handsets, but was quick to point out the iPhone 7, iPhone 8 don't even have them.

The news comes after FCC Chairman Ajit Pai last February pushed for FM radio in United States smartphones but argued that companies should not be forced to turn it on. The company will start mass production of the world's first 512GB embedded Universal Flash Storage (eUFS), implying that the next-gen smartphones will be able to offer double the storage, of what it could previous year.

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