T-Mobile throws its weight behind movement to bring FM radio to phones
There’s a movement underway to add some overlooked functionality to your smartphone, bringing you access to multiple streams of high-quality commercial content, all without paying a dime or counting against your data allotment. It was earlier this year that we first learned of a concerted effort to convince smartphone OEMs to activate dormant hardware on their phones that would enable handsets to receive FM radio transmissions, or at least to sell future phones with the feature present out of the box. Late last month we heard that AT&T had been convinced to back the idea, and would ask the phone manufacturers it works with to enable FM reception. Now another big carrier joins the movement, as T-Mobile voices its own support.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere shares the news today on Twitter, writing, “We’re saying yes to FM chip and will push our OEM partners to support!”
None of this is a guarantee that phone-builders will start making FM reception a priority, but we’ve already seen the big steps these companies have taken to appease US carriers in the past, so with at least two of the networks solidly behind this FM initiative, we imagine these requests are becoming harder and harder to ignore.
So far, we’ve yet to see any big OEMs make their own formal commitments to supporting FM radio reception.