Could FM Radio be Past its Peak?


FM radio has awesome features – it’s free, it doesn’t use up your data, it often has better reception than LTE, it offers various mixes of playlists (both hip and classic) along with news and up-to-date info. So, why does it seem like makers are increasingly reluctant to include it in their phones?

Well, while the FM receiver has certainly declined in popularity, there is still a variety of models to choose from. We put together this chart that counts the different number of models by multiple makers that have a receiver.

The peak was in the 2008-2010 period. The chart gets a little busy on the right (click on it to view a larger image), but the main takeaway is this – there is still variety for those who want to listen to terrestrial broadcasts.

You may have spotted Apple there on the bottom. The iPhone maker never included an FM receiver on its phones (though some iPods had one), we only included Apple in this chart to point the finger at them.

It’s important to note that the chart shows the number of models that makers produced, not sales – that part is up to you as a consumer.

Models with FM radio per year (click to view a larger image)

So, why is FM radio declining? It would be easy to lay the blame at Apple’s feet, after all the radio requires wired headphones (which it uses as an antenna). By the way, USB-C headphones work too, it doesn’t have to be through a 3.5mm jack.

But there are other factors to consider – the rise of music streaming combined with cheaper data plans, for one. Sometimes, the receiver is present but lacks software support – that was the case with the Galaxy S9/S9+ in the US and Canada (it was enabled via an update). There was a similar situation with the S8/S8+.

Samsung’s Galaxy S line tends to be the exception, however, most phones with €400+ price tags do not support FM radio. Not even the Galaxy Note phones, strangely enough. LG, vivo, Asus and a few others do pack a receiver into their high-end offerings, but not in all of them.

That’s odd – when did not having an FM receiver become an elitist feature?



  1. Marketing a phone with less features and charging more for it. This fits the pattern of the new brain dead moron that wants to pay carbon tax. That wants to stop burning fossil fuel. That thinks windmills are the answer. (not if you have feathers). The consumer that is gluten free. Meat free. Dairy free. Believes that immigration and migration should be unfettered. Believes that schools should not examine, award pass fail,allow free speech as long as it fits the unionized teachers ideology. The peoplekind that cant stand that they are being labeled male or female because of their genitals. People that say its wrong to rape or steal . People that believe in the Paris climate accord but refuse to watch Parisians rioting in protest of carbon taxes. People like Trudeau, Obama, Mercon Merkle. It became elitist to drop the FM signal when PCSJWSNOWFLAKES were allowed to ban speakers at universities that didnt believe in the new world order.

  2. I have a smartphone. I don’t listen to broadcast corporate radio’s FM on it, and don’t want to.

    I listen to online streaming broadcasts and wi-fi via an unlimited data plan.

    I don’t listen to corporate broadcast FM at home or work, either.

    I DO have an FM transmitter to broadcast Internet streaming to radios throughout the house.

    I don’t have the time or patience to listen to endless commercials about products of no relevance to my life introduced by insane announcers that all sound the same.

    I am tired of corporate radio on any band. I won’t listen to it.

    And just like General Motors and Sears found out, once people switch to the competition – they’re not going back.


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