Blackberry activating FM receivers


Some models of Blackberry smartphones already have FM radio receivers built in – but they haven’t been activated. Until now. Blackberry manufacturer Research in Motion (RIM) announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that the FM radio receivers are being turned on.

“Customers with a BlackBerry Curve 9360 or 9380 smartphone will find a nice surprise with the BlackBerry 7.1 OS update in the form of an FM radio. The FM radio circuitry is already built in to the Curve 9360 and 9380 models and BlackBerry 7.1 provides users with a new app that allows them to tune in and enjoy local FM radio stations. Listening to the FM radio does not require a data plan or use data services,” the company said.

RIM announced a number of enhancements in the new 7.1 operating system, including the ability to turn the smartphone into a mobile hotspot, supporting up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices. “The 7.1 update also supports carrier implemented Wi-Fi calling services (UMA/GAN where available), allowing users to make Wi-Fi calls from their BlackBerry smartphone that don’t eat into their airtime minutes,” the company noted.

BlackBerry 7.1 will begin rolling out from carriers around the world beginning today (1/9) and over the coming weeks.

“BlackBerry 7 delivered a next-generation platform for our customers around the world and the range of software updates announced today build upon the strengths of that platform to further enhance the mobile experience and make life easier, from managing daily tasks to planning big adventures,” said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO at Research In Motion.

RBR-TVBR observation: Note the pitch to consumers not having to use data minutes in both the FM radio and Wi-Fi phone call features. RIM is smart to provide technologies that don’t run the meter on people’s wireless carrier contracts.
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Note: Coming soon from RBR/TVBR – Look for a focused/key Consumer Retail Report: Internet Radio, iHeart vs Pandora. One fact in RBR-TVBR consumer retail research findings – Pandora is not going to go away.

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