NAB pushing for FM in iPhones


RBR/TVBR reported last week on rumors that the next generation of Apple’s iPhone and iPod might contain an FM radio chip. That sounds like a great idea to NAB CEO David Rehr, who has fired off a letter to Apple’s COO encouraging the company to include FM.

In his letter to Apple’s Timothy Cook, Rehr called FM capability “a value-added and low cost feature” for mobile phones and portable music players. He also noted that with RDS tagging FM receivers can provide incremental revenue for purveyors of digital music. Of course, Apple is one of the biggest with its iTunes store.

In addition, Rehr noted that a built-in FM radio would give Apple’s customers access to local emergency information. Also, he suggested that local radio stations can provide “significant public promotion” of devices with FM reception capability.

Noting that the US lags the rest of the world in the number of mobile phones sold with radio receivers included, Rehr told Cook “We encourage you to work with us by adding FM radio as a feature to your mobile phone and portable music products.”

You can read the entire letter as a pdf attachment on this page.

RBR/TVBR observation: Sounds like a great idea to us, too. As we noted last week, it would give iPhone users a choice of listening to local radio as well as Internet content and would provide access to emergency information when the cellular system supporting the iPhone is knocked out by a natural disaster.