Some things baffle me about the US. The blind love of SMS is one, and the fact that the FM chip in smartphones isn't activated on many devices in the country for some reason (read: operator greed) is another. But things have been moving in the right direction: LG announced a partnership with NextRadio to unlock the FM chip in its smartphones a few months ago and now the same is happening with Samsung.

NextRadio made the announcement, rightly explaining that FM radio is essential in areas with low connectivity and in emergency and disaster situations where a connection might be difficult to obtain or maintain and where access to information could be a matter of life and death. With the chip unlocked, users will be able to listen to local radio on their phone using the NextRadio Android app.

The press release mentions that "upcoming [Samsung] smartphone models in the U.S. and Canada" will have the FM chip unlocked, however I did find several existing Samsung devices with their FM chip enabled on NextRadio's site. Huh. Maybe those of you living in the US can shed a light on those contradicting details.

Press Release

Samsung Becomes Latest Phone Manufacturer to Unlock the FM Chip

INDIANAPOLIS, Jan. 9, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --  TagStation LLC, owner of the NextRadio® app, announced today that Samsung, the largest Android handset maker in the world, is the latest device OEM to continue its support for NextRadio by unlocking the FM Chip in upcoming smartphone models in the U.S. and Canada.

Many smartphones in the world are manufactured with hardware capable of receiving free FM radio signals.  Market leaders like Samsung are taking the step of unlocking the FM Chip, which will allow Samsung users to connect directly with the NextRadio app, listen to their favorite local stations, and use less battery and less data than streaming radio apps.

"Samsung should be lauded for taking this important step," said Paul Brenner, President of NextRadio powered by TagStation. "They are providing their customers a more engaging, immersive radio experience and, as importantly, a means to connect with life-saving information in emergencies."

When cellular coverage is congested or unavailable, the FM Chip will provide life-saving information from local radio stations. On the heels of widespread natural disasters in Puerto Rico, Houston and the Florida coast, calls have increased for all phone manufacturers to unlock the FM Chip in smartphones as a public safety necessity. Samsung joins LG, Motorola and Alcatel in taking this step to both meet consumer demand and to provide a lifeline in emergency situations.

About NextRadio® powered by TagStation, LLC

TagStation, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Emmis Communications Corporation. TagStation, LLC has developed the TagStation® service to provide radio stations with artist and title information and unique interactivity with listeners. With partial funding from NAB Labs, TagStation also developed the NextRadio® hybrid radio apps which use TagStation® cloud services to provide a rich radio listening experience on smartphones, tablets and connected cars by combining the devices' built-in tuner and the internet. Founded in 2013, TagStation, LLC is headquartered in Indianapolis, IN with offices in Indianapolis and Chicago, IL. For more information about TagStation®, visit For more information about NextRadio®, visit