Samsung’s Upcoming Handsets Will Feature Unlocked FM Chips

Not everything that’s old needs replacing or retiring. We’re still hoping smartphone manufacturers like Apple, HTC, Motorola and Xiaomi will ultimately realize they’re making a mistake leaving the archaic but useful headphone jack behind, while Samsung is now officially joining an FM radio-reviving movement.

Following in LG, Motorola and Alcatel’s footsteps, the world’s largest mobile device vendor wants to support NextRadio’s initiative by unlocking the FM chip in “upcoming smartphone models in the U.S. and Canada.”

Unfortunately, NextRadio didn’t care to elaborate in a fresh press release announcing its partnership with Samsung exactly when the chaebol plans to enable the dormant component present in every one of its Android handsets. Adding to the confusion, an extensive list of “supported devices” on NextRadio app’s official website includes a whole bunch of unlocked and US carrier-specific Galaxies.

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.

Either way, it’s important to remember not just the convenience of the 1933-invented FM radio broadcasting technology, but also its vital potential of conveying life-saving information in emergency situations.

Natural disasters like those that recently took place in Puerto Rico, Houston and the Florida coast tend to make it hard or outright impossible to use modern cellular networks. But local radio stations could still be able to function, and your phone’s FM chip doesn’t need an LTE signal.

With the NextRadio app, you can also routinely listen to free music and local news while consuming far less battery and data than through streaming services like Spotify or Apple Music. Everybody wins… aside from Spotify and Apple.

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