Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Industry | By Johnnie Johnson

Samsung is the latest OEM to unlock FM chips in new phones

Samsung is the latest OEM to unlock FM chips in new phones

Some smartphone users with an affinity for old-school technology may appreciate having access to FM radio, but TagStation president Paul Brenner also said in a press release that having access to FM radio frequencies could benefit people in emergency situations.

Samsung will now unlock the FCC FM chip on future smartphones.

With their FM chips unlocked, Samsung handset owners will be able to listen to free FM radio signals through the free NextRadio app. Samsung, like many other handset makers, has locked FM radio chips in the past, requiring you to stream FM radio signals from over the Internet to access channels.

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Once enabled, FM radio will be available to Samsung users in the United States and Canada. "They are providing their customers a more engaging, immersive radio experience and, as importantly, a means to connect with life-saving information in emergencies".

NextRadio reveals that upcoming Samsung smartphones will be equipped with unlocked chip.

Several smartphones, including the iPhone, came with hardware which was capable of receiving FM radio signals, but was deactivated.

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Many smartphones shipped in the United States come with an FM chip but they're disabled. If cellular coverage is unavailable or congested, the FM chip can provide important information from a local radio station.

Samsung joins LG, Motorola, and Alcatel (a French brand used under license by TCL) in activating their phones' FM chips. It is simply a matter of smartphone manufacturers enabling the chip for that functionality.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai past year asked Apple to activate the FM radio chips installed in their phones in the interest of public safety.

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