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NAB Finds ‘Significant Demand’ for Radio-Capable Cell Phones

Cites a Harris Interactive poll it commissioned

The NAB cites new data to further support its case that the cell phone industry should include radio in its products.

The association commissioned a Harris Interactive online poll of 2,587 adults. It found that two-thirds of respondees would listen to a built-in radio. About three-quarters thought that having a radio built in would allow them important access to emergency news and alerts.

Favorite proposed uses were weather reports and music listening. More findings are summarized here (PDF).

NAB Executive Vice President of Communications Dennis Wharton stated: “Unfortunately, most U.S. mobile phone users have been denied over-the-air access to their favorite free and local stations. With much of the U.S. cell phone market built upon exclusive contracts between carriers and manufacturers, most consumers are left paying for fee-based data-intensive streaming apps with no free, broadcast alternative.”

Facing off with NAB on this issue is the Consumer Electronics Association.

President/CEO Gary Shapiro put out a reaction statement: “We agree with the NAB that some consumers may want phones with FM receivers — and they can have them, since numerous models of radio-equipped phones are already on the market. But NAB forgot to ask they key question: Do Americans really want the government designing their phones and digital devices?”

Shapiro said NAB “doesn’t care what consumers want … by turning ‘FM’ into ‘forced mandate,’ they want to make the consumer buy a radio whether they want one or not.”

Device Manufacturers Cool to Possible FM Chip Mandate” (Aug. 2010)