The Hidden FM Radio Inside Your Pocket, And Why You Can’t Use It

All Tech Considered

Emma Bowman writes:

You may not know it but most of today's smartphones have FM radios inside of them. But the FM chip is not activated on two-thirds of devices. That's because mobile makers have the FM capability switched off.

The National Association of Broadcasters has been asking mobile makers to change this. But the mobile industry, which profits from selling data to smartphone users, says that with the consumer's move toward mobile streaming apps, the demand for radio simply isn't there.

Full disclosure: NPR, along with the NAB, has been part of a lobbying effort to require this free radio feature to be enabled. In 2013 they teamed up to create a free app that allows for free FM listening on smartphones.

NPR's Robert Siegel spoke with Jeff Smulyan, the point man on this issue for the NAB

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