Survey Says Smartphone Users Want FM Tuner
June 29, 2010 at 5:56 AM (PT)
A new study from interactive research and technology firm VISION CRITICAL looks at the features that would get consumers excited about the iPHONE. The online survey of more than 4,000 adults across the U.S., U.K. and CANADA was conducted on JUNE 16th and 17th, following APPLE's announcement of the new iPHONE 4. The new phone will feature a higher resolution screen and front facing camera, but no FM tuner.
Consumers who already own or are likely to get a smartphone in the next six months were asked to choose from a list of possible features which are not being offered on the new iPHONE 4. The FM tuner was one of the most popular features across all countries surveyed.
If the rumors of an FM patent are correct, it looks like Apple is preparing itself for an inevitable future.
According to VISION CRITICAL SVP/Managing Director-Radio JEFF VIDLER, "If the rumors of an FM patent are correct, it looks like APPLE is preparing itself for an inevitable future."
Recently, CNET reporteds "a recent APPLE patent application could signal the company is looking to include an HD RADIO feature in future iOS devices (NET NEWS 6/18).
Interest in an FM tuner is particularly high in CANADA. The feature ranked as the first choice among Canadian smartphone owners and intenders with 43% identifying it as one of the features in which they would be most interested. In the U.K. a tuner tied as 2nd most popular feature with 34% expressing interest, and in the U.S. it tied for 4th with 30% of Americans saying they would be interested.
VIDLER suggests two reasons for the higher interest in the FM tuner in CANADA. "First, mobile data charges are higher in CANADA. This makes a non-streaming radio option especially attractive for Canadian smartphone users. But it may also be that local FM radio itself remains more attractive to smartphone users in CANADA than in the U.S. and the U.K. where music streaming services such as PANDORA and SPOTIFY have taken the spotlight for smartphone users." Due to royalty agreements, neither PANDORA nor SPOTIFY are legally available in CANADA.