Apple to get FM radio in iPhones? Not this way, please
Some true and false facts about the latest Apple radio rumours
The chip that does the wifi DOES also have FM reception functionality; but there's no antenna wired in, nor much of the other gubbins that would make it work properly. So, no, they won't work as an FM radio.
"Apple have just submitted an FM radio patent"
This was actually originally submitted last year, but yes, they've submitted an FM radio patent. Here's the details.
But the patent is for the navigation of radio stations, not the simple addition of adding an FM radio in their mobile phone. According to a Nokia spokesman, Nokia sell 800,000 FM radios a day, so there's some prior art here!
Specifically, the patent lists a navigation system which is based on the location of each radio station. You see a map, and you tune into a radio station based on where it is.
At Media UK, we've got quite a lot of experience in mapping media companies. We do, for example, have location ID data for every single media company in the UK. Here's a little fiddling we did a while back to show media companies in central London. So, it was interesting to see Apple's ideas.
But, sorry Steve, physical location of radio studios - or even radio transmitters - is not a good way to navigate radio.
1. It's irrelevant to how European radio works. In Europe we have national broadcasters and regional broadcasters, as well as the local broadcasters which follow a similar structure to the US. A listener in Liverpool could choose from his local Radio City, his regional Real Radio (from Salford), or national radio from London (BBC Radio 2) or Gateshead (Amazing Radio).
2. It's irrelevant to the listener. Listeners don't tune into radio because of where the transmitter site is, or where the studios are. They tune in to radio because of its relevancy to them: whether that's talking about their local area, or reflecting their musical tastes.
There's no doubt that radio needs organising; Media UK has the most comprehensive detail for radio in the UK, yet much of what we list is regularly outdated. There is no metadata standard, as yet, for radio listings and radio information (though plenty vying for attention, including RadioDNS's RadioEPG project and the IMDA).
Organising radio by where the transmitters are? It's a nice idea, Steve, just like weird spirals to navigate music. But in order to understand how to navigate radio stations, you probably might want to involve the radio industry in your thinking.
James Cridland is the Managing Director of Media UK, and a radio futurologist: a consultant, writer and public speaker who concentrates on the effect that new platforms and technology are having on the radio business.
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