Samsung is the latest OEM to unlock FM chips in new phones
According to a press release from NextRadio app owner TagStation LLC, Samsung will be the next major phone manufacturer to enable the dormant FM chips in their devices. The FM chips will be switched on in Samsung's "upcoming smartphone models," which will allow users to listen to local radio stations.
Most smartphones ship with FM chips, but they are usually not enabled for various reasons. 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. FM stations can give people critical information even if a storm wipes out the local Internet infrastructure.
In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai issued a public statement calling on the wireless industry to activate these dormant FM chips to assist in emergency situations. So far, along with Samsung, LG, Motorola, and Alcatel have announced they will start enabling FM chips in their devices.