LG and TagStation LLC, owner of the NextRadio app, have partnered to bring FM radio to future LG smartphones in the US, Canada and Latin American countries. The news was announced in a press release yesterday, in which TagStation also said that LG would preload NextRadio onto “a number of models,” pending carrier agreements.
“The collaboration will allow LG users to listen and experience live, local radio on their smartphones in a brand new way and provide access to audio emergency alerts even if cellular coverage becomes congested or unavailable,” wrote TagStation in the press release, adding, “The direct connection to the phone’s FM chip allows users to use 3 times less battery and 20 times less data than streaming radio apps when listening to NextRadio broadcasts.”
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This would be overall great news for consumers though it might disappoint carriers. By enabling the FM chips — which often come in smartphones and are sometimes disabled in the US by carriers — consumers could save data and battery life, two prized smartphone resources (though, as you might have discerned from the quote above, using NextRadio still consumes some data). Carriers, meanwhile, would lose out on those using data to access radio services through the internet, or taking out plans with higher data allowance with that kind of usage in mind.
We don’t yet know which LG phones will feature the FM radio capabilities, but to find out which smartphones are compatible with NextRadio currently, check out the full list here. Give us your thoughts on this news in the comments.