Apparently, FM radio broadcasts are free on home stereos, cars and just about anything that has a radio signal receiver. What happened to smartphones?

You would think that the smartphone is the one device on this planet that should be able to get an FM signal right?  Smartphone can do just about anything from a digital multimedia perspective so why not radio.  Of course there is an app that can stream radio broadcast etc., but what about just getting a plan radio signal without having to worry about downloading an app?


Smartphone are capable of connecting to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, receiving and sending signals, and this includes FM radio.


According to an article on CNET, there is a reason for this issue.  Even though most smartphones have the internal components to receive a radio signal, wireless carriers wanted smartphone manufacturers to disable that feature.


It was more beneficial to have consumers to subscribe to a data plan and download a music app to stream multimedia content. Why give you a free alternative when there are millions of dollars to be made?


Fortunately, we are seeing a shift towards finally making FM radio accessible on smartphones.  This comes amidst public safety concerns. According to Forrester Research, smartphones are the most used devices in the United States.


With that fact in mind, it would make since to have access to radio broadcast in the case of emergency or disaster.  People don’t usually take radios around with them anymore, but they will take their smartphones.

"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook

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