WASHINGTON, DC — In a letter sent today to Apple COO Timothy Cook, NAB President and CEO David K. Rehr urged the electronics manufacturer to begin including FM radio as a feature in future iPhones and iPods. “NAB would like to encourage Apple, as a recognized leader in both the mobile phone and portable music player arenas, to include FM radio as a feature in future iPhone and iPod products,” wrote Rehr. “Providing FM broadcast reception capability in mobile phones and portable music players creates multiple benefits for consumers as well as for the broadcasting, music and personal device manufacturing industries.”
Noting that radio is still the number one method by which consumers discover new music, Rehr described the many benefits FM radio reception would provide Apple, including additional incremental revenue through song “tagging.” Rehr also noted that the Motorola ROKR EM35, the first mobile phone with an integrated FM antenna to be marketed in the United States, will be featured during the 2009 NAB Show next week. “I am taking the liberty to share my letter to you with the 9,346 FM radio stations across America,” Rehr continued. “I am certain they will eagerly support positive indications from Apple on the inclusion of built-in FM radio in future Apple products.”
A 2008 NAB FASTROAD report outlines the potential benefits that could result from an increase in the penetration of FM radio receivers in mobile phone hand sets. The study concluded that mobile phone service providers, radio broadcasters, and hand set manufacturers all stand to benefit from the expansion of FM-capable mobile phones, a platform that could reach 257 million American subscribers. The full text of the 2008 report and information on the NAB FASTROAD technology advocacy program are available at www.NABFASTROAD.org.