From January 1st 2021 a law cancels FM radio from Android smartphones

By: | January 5th, 2021

The latest OS updates for Samsung smartphones disable FM radio, the technology that until now has allowed all of us to listen to the signals of all the radios in the world.

The measure is a direct consequence of the entry into force of law no. 205/2017, which indicates that ‘in order to foster technological innovation, starting from 1 June 2019 the devices suitable for receiving sound broadcasting sold by manufacturing companies to distributors of retail electronic equipment throughout the country’ must integrate at least one interface that can allow you to listen to digital radio (DAB and DAB +).

Moreover,’starting from January 1st 2021, equipment suitable for reception of sound broadcasting sold to consumers in the national territory [must integrate] at least one interface that allows the user to receive digital radio services ‘, ie smartphones and consumer electronics products in general.

From Walkman to digital music: an invitation to recycle old devices for playing music. Therefore: to favor the diffusion of a (relatively) new technology, a function present on many devices is completely eliminated, with immediate damage for many people.

To date, in fact, no manufacturer integrates a module for the acquisition of digital radio (which must be in the chip and cannot be added as an app). Similarly, neither Qualcomm, nor Mediatek or Huawei (the main manufacturers of chips for Android smartphones) produce chips of this type, and therefore the result is that all manufacturers, by the entry into force of the law that is set for the January 1st 2021, they must disable FM radio on their smartphones in order to avoid penalties.

It will probably no longer be possible to listen to FM radio on your smartphone, because the quality of DAB / DAB + is not very different from that of streaming through the dedicated apps of the radios themselves, which have long been available on all digital stores.

Of course, Apple customers can sleep peacefully from this news (which only and exclusively affects Android devices). Apple, in fact, is exempt from this measure, because it has never integrated FM radio on iPhones.


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