The new iPhone 4 has an FM radio receiver-capable chip, as did its predecessor, but it is not activated by Apple (and there is no way for anyone else to activate it). That has prompted new complaints by iPhone fans on the reviews section of CNET (which happens to be owned by CBS Corporation, also the owner of CBS Radio).
Not everyone commenting on CNET wants the FM radio capability. “Why the hell do you need FM radio, there are plenty of commercial free internet radio alternatives,” was one comment. But the response noted that the chip is already included for other purposes, so no additional space would be used. Also, listening to FM radio doesn’t use up the data allotment.
Another pro-FM poster said they wanted to be able to listen to live sports play-by-play. Even if the game is streamed on the Internet, they noted, there is a noticeable delay in delivery of the audio.
RBR-TVBR observation: Why is Apple refusing to provide a useful function to its customers which would cost the company nothing? Making the FM radio active would also give the iPhone at least some functionality in a severe emergency when wireless broadband communications have been knocked out.