Thanks to the internet and music streaming and digital radio, the need to tune into conventional FM radios is starting to lessen, but if you wanted to tune into regular radio, there are smartphone apps that will do that for you. However recently-appointed FCC chairman Ajit Pai believes that we could do better, and that is by activating our smartphone’s FM radio chips.

In case you didn’t know, many smartphones today actually come with a built-in FM receiver that has been built into the LTE modem. This means that technically users will be capable of listening to FM radio via their smartphones, but yet many smartphones in the US do not have their FM chips activated.

According to Pai who cites an NAB study, it has been found that only 44% of phones in the US have their FM radio chips activated, with another 44% not activated. Out of that 44%, 94% are apparently iPhones. Pai was quoted as saying, “It seems odd that every day we hear about a new smartphone app that lets you do something innovative, yet these modern-day mobile miracles don’t enable a key function offered by a 1982 Sony Walkman.”

It is unclear as to why the chips aren’t activated, but it has been suggested in the past that this could be due to the need for an extra antenna which might not fit into the phone. Alternatively it has been suggested that it could be as simple as an iOS update, but for now Apple has yet to respond to Pai’s comments.

Filed in Apple >Cellphones. Read more about FCC and iPhone.

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