Samsung is partnering with NextRadio to Unlock FM Chips in Smartphones

Future Samsung devices will come with an unlocked FM radio chip

Apple has declined to do so, saying that iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models do not have FM radio chips. It seems now things are changing as Samsung is partnering with NextRadio to unlock FM chips in smartphones.

Users were already able to stream radio stations through services like iHeartRadio and Pandora. FM Radio isn't just for music, it's useful in an emergency situation, since it is more resilient and has a longer range than a cellular signal. Right now, this remains impossible since the company doesn't activate the FM chip in phones like the Galaxy S8.

But we're guessing the feature's unlocking was previously up to every individual mobile network operator, and Samsung may now be preparing to enforce a stricter policy of universal activation. This uses less data and battery power than connecting to radio apps, though of course, there's less control over what you listen to. 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 a year ago.

"Samsung should be lauded for taking this important step", NextRadio President Paul Brenner said in a statement.

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Cupertino in particular came in for criticism for the lack of an FM radio in iPhone models, following a spate of natural disasters in the U.S. past year.

Both the companies announced the partnership today and also noted the importance of of FM radio in some areas beside the modern means of listening music. Unfortunately, that probably means the decision doesn't apply retroactively, so numerous smartphones that are now available in the USA will not have their FM Radio chips enabled.

The company announced Tuesday that its upcoming devices will contain unlocked FM radio chips.

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