FM Chips In Smartphones? Go To Mexico


When it comes to activated FM chips in smartphones, Mexico is far ahead of the U.S. and Canada.

New research from the North American Broadcasters Association shared yesterday (Sept. 19) shows that nearly 8 in 10 smartphones in Mexico have an FM chip activated.

NABA worked with the U.S.’s National Association of Broadcasters on compiling the data, in addition to using sales data compiled by research and consulting firm ABI Research.

As shown in the chart below, some 78.6% of smartphones in Mexico during Q1 2016 boasted an activated FM chip.

By comparison, just 35% of smartphones in the U.S. during the period had an activated FM chip. Slightly fewer Canadian smartphones during Q1 were equipped with an activated FM chip.


The above chart is perhaps even more startling.

In the U.S., nearly all Apple iPhones have an FM chip installed that has not been activated.

“For a variety of reasons, these FM chip are often not activated, most notably in all of Apple’s iPhone products, which are top sellers,” the NABA said, without asking why Apple remains reluctant to activate the chip. “Broadcasters are working with smartphone device manufacturers and cellular carriers to increase the number of models that have the FM chip activated so that more consumers have access to FM radio on their smartphones.”

“NABA believes that providing statistical data on FM chip activation in smartphones for North America is an important step for raising awareness of this technology among radio broadcasters and consumers,” said NABA Director-General Michael McEwen.

Sam Matheny, NAB EVP and Chief Technology Officer, added, “FM radio is enjoyed around the world and is a global standard. This fits well with smartphones where FM chips are already installed and sold globally. We applaud NABA for their work to build awareness on the benefits of activating FM chips in North America.”

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