Previous 1 2 3 4 Next 76 Replies Latest reply: Feb 19, 2010 7:20 PM by Volrus7 Go to original post
  • modular747 Level 6 Level 6 (16,770 points)
    Not everybody has a BT headset - that's an additional purchase, whereas everyone has a wired headset. If you wanted to listen to FM, you'd use that.

    It makes no sense to "add" a feature that precludes using existing ones, including the built in iPhone speaker - no purchase needed.
    Be realistic! Nobody would ever be on the phone, using WiFi, using Bluetooth, using Nike+ AND listening to the radio all at the same time. Everybody knows that using multiple wireless

    Nobody... Everybody.... You can't be serious! You do read the posts in this forum?

    However, the fact that it is included in so many European phones, suggests that it is a feature many consumers do consider and use otherwise phone manufacturers simply wouldn't bother including it at all.

    Do you see it in any European smartphones that can internet stream FM stations, even though it's much more common to have data limited plans in Europe than the US?
    No it doesn't. It's the same ~87.5Mhz to ~108.0Mhz. FM radio is the same worldwide with the exception of Japan and a few former Eastern Bloc countries.

    Actually, I misspoke. I was thinking of digital radio, which many stations are now supporting and is gaining some popularity (as far as broadcast radio goes) in the US.

    FM radio is a dying breed in the US, not just because of MP3, but because FM stations have been hijacked by corporate radio (i.e. Clear Channel) which limits stations to tightly playlist controlled "formats" - Emetic Easy Listening, Soporific Soft Rock, Headache Metal, Un-hip Hip-Hop, The-Same-30-Songs-You-Heared-3000-Times Classic Rock...
    Personally, I have little use for FM radio on my iPhone,

    There you have it! The iPhone isn't a cheap cell phone. It makes little sense that an archaic technology would be added, incompatible with existing features, when much of the best of the FM format is available already via internet streaming

    Message was edited by: modular747
  • modular747 Level 6 Level 6 (16,770 points)
    Thanks for demonstrating very clearly that you are running out of arguments. But relax, I still like my iPhone despite its:

    - missing FM Tuner
    - old fashioned cable syncing
    - non-replaceable battery

    Where did I ever say the iPhone was perfect as is and wouldn't benefit from new features? An FM tuner isn't one of them for actual technical reasons, not personal interest or taste. Maybe you should read what was actually said here.
  • Julian Wright Level 7 Level 7 (34,860 points)
    It makes no sense to "add" a feature that precludes using existing ones, including the built in iPhone speaker - no purchase needed.


    Huh? What you mean like plugging headphones in stopping the speaker working? Or using a Bluetooth headset stopping the built-in mic and speaker working. How is that any different to plugging in the wired headphones to use the radio?

    Do you see it in any European smartphones that can that can internet stream FM stations,


    Yes, absolutely.

    A quick glance at of 58 phones, includes 41 that have FM receivers.

    Let's suppose you define 'smartphone' as one with WiFi, GPS, Internet & email capability that narrows the choice down to 10 phones, of which 9 have FM radio.

    So, that's 90% of Sony Ericsson's smartphones (which also have internet streaming capability) also have FM radio.

    100% of Sony Ericsson's touchscreen Smartphones have FM radio.

    And, Sony Ericsson's top-of-the-line Xperia X1 Windows Mobile based Smartphone has FM radio with RDS. Only the Android-based X10 smartphone doesn't have FM.

    FM radio is a dying breed in the US


    Maybe so, but 50% of iPhone users don't live in the US. MMS (another dying tech) was added to the iPhone, because of its popularity outside of the US.

    Personally, I have little use for FM radio on my iPhone,

    There you have it!


    There you have what? I said 'I' don't have much use for FM radio - I'm not everyone. Clearly some people would like FM radio.

    The iPhone isn't a cheap cell phone.


    FM radio isn't limited to only cheap phones as I demonstrated above by looking at Sony Ericsson's range of internet enabled Smartphones.

    Ok, so it's obvious that you have no desire for FM radio (me neither), but that doesn't mean no-one does. I had no desire for MMS (never used it), but I now have that facility on my iPhone.
  • modular747 Level 6 Level 6 (16,770 points)
    Huh? What you mean like plugging headphones in stopping the speaker working? Or using a Bluetooth headset stopping the built-in mic and speaker working. How is that any different to plugging in the wired headphones to use the radio?

    The problem is you can't listen to FM radio via the speaker if your +have to+ use the headset for it's antenna function (which you pointed out). Lots of people listen to media via the speaker without any headset.
    Yes, absolutely....

    None of these is my idea of cutting edge smartphones, but I won't argue semantics. Why do you suppose these models aren't even available in the US if the technology is so cheap and functional?
    MMS (another dying tech) was added to the iPhone, because of its popularity outside of the US.

    Completely wrong. MMS is extremely popular in the US and far from dying. If you read the 100s of threads demanding it in this forum, the vast majority of posts were from US users. The reasons for it's delay in the iPhone had more to do with AT&T nixing it due to its flimsy network.
    Ok, so it's obvious that you have no desire for FM radio (me neither), but that doesn't mean no-one does. I had no desire for MMS (never used it), but I now have that facility on my iPhone.

    This has nothing to do with what I want in the phone. FM broadcast is a fading. It may very well be that Apple would gain some European sales with it, but it's never been their design philosophy to add obsolescent technology to new models.
  • Ziatron Level 4 Level 4 (3,450 points)
    i consider blackberry as a business devices.
    iphone is considered an entertainment phone.


    That is certainly not the case in the United States.

    In the U.S. a blackberry is often used by the "junior executive" just starting out their business career.

    iPhones tend to be used more by mid and upper management, and the rich.

    Also, FM Radio is in decline in the US. AM radio is more popular do primarily to political talk radio. (all that Free Speech in the US).

    Satellite radio is becoming more popular also.
  • Julian Wright Level 7 Level 7 (34,860 points)
    The problem is you can't listen to FM radio via the speaker if your have to use the headset for it's antenna function


    Not true. My old phones allowed me to switch on the internal speaker if I wanted to, and still use the headphone wire as an antenna. I'm sure the same could be true of the iPhone.

    Lots of people listen to media via the speaker without any headset.


    Do they really? Do you have any statistics to backup that statement? Due to the relatively low quality and volume of the built-in iPhone speaker, I would've thought the vast majority of people listen to media through headphones, plugged into their car/home stereos or through the huge number of speaker docks that are available. In my own experince, I can't remember ever hearing anyone listening to music through the iPhone speaker, but I do see large numbers of iPhone users with the white earbuds in their ears everyday...

    Why do you suppose these models aren't even available in the US if the technology is so cheap and functional?


    Thousands of phones never get released in the US because the US mobile phone market has always been much more closed than the European market. Wide use of a unified frequency of GSM (usually 1800MHz) explains why a European mobile phone works just about everywhere in Europe and Asia but has limited use in the US. It's also fragmented by having two standards (GSM & CDMA) so Sony Ericsson and Nokia etc don't even bother to modify and release a lot of their phones for the US.

    Read this interesting article about the US mobile market: http://www.gizmocafe.com/handhelds/cellular-networks.aspx

    In the UK alone we have at least 6 nationwide GSM carriers, 3 of which offer the iPhone. The US has two main (partially incompatible) GSM carriers and only one of them offers the iPhone.

    Selling and buying phones in the US is far more restrictive than in Europe. Here you could buy any phone you want, with or without a contract and stick any SIM card in it, from either independent phone retailers or the networks own stores and use it anywhere. In the US you are limited by what the networks allow you to buy. There are very few independent retailers (just some specialist ones in big cities who import compatible European phones for those people who have the money to avoid the restrictions), whereas here there are dozens in every High street.

    Just compare the offerings of US mobile phone networks to those of UK or European ones. There is simply no comparison. I usually hang out in the iSync forum, and it's a real job trying to find iSync compatible phones to recommend for US users, yet here in Europe there are hundreds to choose from.

    That's why the vast majority of European phones never get released in the US. It's nothing to do with having cheap functional technology, and its all to do with the less developed phone market in the US.
  • modular747 Level 6 Level 6 (16,770 points)
    Not true. My old phones allowed me to switch on the internal speaker if I wanted to, and still use the headphone wire as an antenna. I'm sure the same could be true of the iPhone.

    It doesn't.
    Do they really? Do you have any statistics to backup that statement? Due to the relatively low quality and volume of the built-in iPhone speaker, I would've thought the vast majority of people listen to media through headphones,

    Think again. It depends on what you're listening to. Speech comes through the speaker just fine. Sports and talk show broadcasts don't require full audio bandwidth. Even though you're not interested in what I do, I listen to ball game feeds with the speaker frequently. Statistics about what percentage of users do this is irrelevant - the issue is an FM tuner prevents use of an existing function - not going to happen
    Thousands of phones never get released in the US because the US mobile phone market has always been much more closed than the European market. Wide use of a unified frequency of GSM (usually 1800MHz) .....

    None of this answers why FM tuners are specifically and uniquely absent. US cell phone technology and carrier limitations have nothing to do with it. Many similar models are sold here, but don't have FM. This is a marketing decision.
  • Julian Wright Level 7 Level 7 (34,860 points)
    I listen to ball game feeds with the speaker frequently.


    But as I keep pointing out, 'you' does not equal 'everyone', as much as you'd like to think you represent all iPhone users, you don't - especially those outside the US.

    Statistics about what percentage of users do this is irrelevant


    Because you haven't got any statistics to back-up your claim. However, even without stats, I am certain (through seeing with my own eyes), that more people listen to iPhone audio through headphones, car/home stereos and speaker docks, than listen through the built-in speaker.

    the issue is an FM tuner prevents use of an existing function


    No, it need not. Apple's engineers are no less capable than other phones engineers, so would be able to allow audio playback through the speaker whilst an antenna is plugged in, if needed.

    None of this answers why FM tuners are specifically and uniquely absent.


    I just quickly glanced over the AT&T web-site, and easily found the following phones with FM tuners:

    • Sony Ericsson W518a
    • Motorola MOTO(TM) EM330
    • Pantech Reveal
    • Nokia Surge
    • LG INCITE
    • Sony Ericsson C905a
    • HTC PURE
    • HTC Tilt2

    that doesn't look +'specifically and uniquely absent'+ to me.

    Many similar models are sold here, but don't have FM. This is a marketing decision.


    So, if it's a definite marketing decision (rather than just another of your unsubstantiated claims) not to offer phones with FM, why are those listed above on sale?
  • modular747 Level 6 Level 6 (16,770 points)
    But as I keep pointing out, 'you' does not equal 'everyone', as much as you'd like to think you represent all iPhone users, you don't - especially those outside the US.

    You are able to tell me what I think? Amazing, I never knew that I thought that until you said so. I don't represent all iPhone users any more than your assertion that what I do is inconsequential and unique. It's also completely irrelevant. The only issue is that it is an undeniable fact that unless the iPhone is redesigned, the speaker function would be unavailable with an FM tuner. Apple doesn't do that, never has

    Because you haven't got any statistics to back-up your claim. However, even without stats, I am certain (through seeing with my own eyes), that more people listen to iPhone audio through headphones, car/home stereos and speaker docks, than listen through the built-in speaker.

    Who claimed that using the speaker was more frequent than headsets and that there are statistics. You keep repeating that I'm "claiming" that - more straw man and circular reasoning on you part. Has nothing to do with what I said which was that it is something that is used and would be broken using FM.
    No, it need not. Apple's engineers are no less capable than other phones engineers, so would be able to allow audio playback through the speaker whilst an antenna is plugged in, if needed.

    You really think Apple will redesign iPhone hardware to accommodate an FM tuner?
    I just quickly glanced over the AT&T web-site, and easily found the following phones with FM tuners:

    I stand corrected. It's just that virually no one buys them here that led to my misunderstanding.
  • Graham Outterside Level 4 Level 4 (2,910 points)
    The answer is much much simpler - FM radio's are a 1970's technology and with Apple looking to innovate well ahead of the competition, it drives the user community towards the WWW being the common carrier for everything. Apple were the first to remove the floppy disc when people thought them mad. Nobody does it now.

    In the same way that Apple were instrumental in moving people to portable digital music and 'doing away' with the CD in simple terms, they will move us to having all radio 'online' gradually and not hanging onto old technologies.

    I can only comment on the UK situation, but very soon FM will be replaced by digital radio and this is not going to fit inside a telephone, so Apple are responding in advance to the future market. The radio stations will adapt, many are already 'online' in the UK and we can listen to them on the computer and the iPhone quite happily, without an extra bit of hardware inside the phone. Apple are effectively future proofed through the Apps available at the cost of short term losses until radio stations digitise.

    Basically its about no longer selling cars with cassettes in but selling CD players instead.
  • modular747 Level 6 Level 6 (16,770 points)
    Basically its about no longer selling cars with cassettes in but selling CD players instead.

    Very true! Actually stereo FM is 1950s technology, and leading edge car tech includes hard drives for MP3 and podcasts.
  • MobileDev Level 3 Level 3 (565 points)
    Many of the top HTC smartphones sold in the US have FM radio.

    Workout gyms often transmit the audio for their TVs over FM, so it's a very handy capability to have.

    For that matter, having digital TV built-in is handy as well, but much rarer.
  • modular747 Level 6 Level 6 (16,770 points)
    For that matter, having digital TV built-in is handy as well, but much rarer.

    That would be a much better addition the the iPhone than FM, if technically feasible (antenna issues).

    You're right about gyms. I don't watch TV when working out, but many do. Never saw anyone listening to the transmitted audio with a smartphone. If that's what you want, good reason not to get an iPhone.
  • Emilia Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Graham Outterside wrote:
    The answer is much much simpler - FM radio's are a 1970's technology and with Apple looking to innovate well ahead of the competition, it drives the user community towards the WWW being the common carrier for everything.


    Yes and forcing people to "modern" GSM Internet flat rates with (at least here in Europe) rather expensive contracts rather than having a technology with allows free transmission - how old-fashioned!



    I can only comment on the UK situation, but very soon FM will be replaced by digital radio and this is not going to fit inside a telephone,


    That could happen also in other countries but I am not sure whether all FM frequencies would be shut down immidiately. Until then I would enjoy listening to a radio station while waiting on an airport for a delayed flight. The FM sound quality on my former SE mobile was reasonable for this.
  • opamper Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    modular747 wrote:
    Do you have the engineering knowledge to say adding the FM hardware to an iPhone would have no impact on the rest of the phone's functionality, usability and cost?


    Actually yes I do, I have degrees in electrical and computer engineering. And I can't say any clearer that a digital FM receiver is a very very cheap, small, and reliable device addition nowadays. Engineering it into an iphone would be a very small task compared to the other innovations the make and maintain in the iphone.
    So what if it is old technology? It is proven and still a massively used format around the world. If you live in a place that has a ton of radio stations, i.e. a big city, FM is a great option. It is true that many radio stations broadcast their programs online now; however, many use flash streaming radio, doh. So either they support flash or get FM in there, both would be very nice.
    And my last phone that had a FM tuner that used the headphones wire as a receiving antenna picked up all the radio stations that my car and home stereo can pick up. Saying u need a really long antenna to pick up more than 3 stations is ignorant.
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