At the 6/6/12 Communications Subcommittee Future of Audio hearing, CTIA’s Christopher Guttman-McCabe repeatedly cited a Best Buy catalog containing 26 FM-enable cell phones. However, NAB says almost half of them are not.
NAB’s Jane Mago sent a letter to Guttman-McCabe pointing out the error and requesting his assistance in correcting the record. NAB noted that it was particularly important, given that the subcommittee’s Ranking Member Anna Eshoo (D-CA) was relying on Guttman-McCabe’s testimony to conclude that the free market was handing demand for FM chip-equipped phones.
NAB’s technology department determined that 12 of the 26 phone models referenced in CTIA testimony were not radio-ready, and pointed out that puts Guttman-McCabe’s other frequently-cited statistic, the presence on the market of 59 such phones, in question as well.
Mago said this inaccuracy underscores the testimony of Emmis’s Jeff Smulyan as to the difficulty average consumers have finding a radio-ready phone.
“Despite these challenges, NAB is encouraged by modest progress made to provide consumers with more options for radio-enabled mobile devices,” Mago concluded. “Recent research indicates that a significant percentage of consumers view radio as an attractive feature, and would choose to purchase a radio-enabled device if they were more aware of this option. NAB and radio broadcasters want to work with the wireless industry to better inform the public about the benefits of radio-enabled mobile devices. This effort should involve providing consumers with an accurate account of which devices include this capability. We believe that a coordinated effort will benefit consumers as well as both the wireless and radio industries.”