No Time to Upgrade

Greg Smith sent along this link to Mark Ramsey’s influential blog, wherein he makes a few observations about what Apple is up to with its iPhone:

Back in December, Apple quietly submitted a patent application that altered the radio experience for its users and introduced three new elements to the iPhone:  FM, AM, and Satellite Radio — all built in.

Besides a much slicker user experience than the standard radio dial, Apple has another trick up their sleeve, according to

The radio patents are an indication that the iPhone 5 might offer a unique radio station mapping function which will let users find and select a station with the closest or strongest signal. The folks at T3 believe that Apple might integrate an FM radio receiver added to the top right corner of the device. Apple plans to change the game by displaying all the available radio stations nearby on an interactive map, with names and signal strengths displayed for each station.

The big takeaway from this?

Standard FM and AM are going into the new iPhone — not HD radio.

Satellite radio is getting equal shelf-space to terrestrial on the new iPhones.

As Mark notes:

Pandora has succeeded on iPhones not because FM or AM isn’t there — it has succeeded because it’s different from FM or AM, and that will not be changing.

If you think young folks will wake up and discover a new world of radio heretofore hidden from them, stop fooling yourself. Radio still barely targets these young folks with a limited menu of choices, and they know it. And most of them are already listening anyway when they’re not spreading their media time across a plethora of alternatives, only some of which might be described as “radio.”

Much in keeping with what Jerry Del Collliano of Inside Music Media says about the folly of consolidation in radio and the just desserts of the insanity of seeking the lowest common denominator in music. And, of course, so much for the exuberant “hints” that Apple was about to market HD radio.


One Response

  1. “The Dark Secret iBiquity Doesn’t Want You to Know”

    “Hot in the news is a new patent application from Apple for what has been portrayed as HD Radio capability in iPods or possibly even iPhones. What’s left out of the news is one important point: We’re talking about an accessory here – not a core functional piece of the iPod hardware. That’s abundantly clear from the title of Apple’s application and completely missed by most of the radio industry trades.”

    This HD Radio stunt is nothing new. A couple of years ago, they pulled the same type of stunt claiming that Apple was manufacturing an HD Radio boombox:

    “Radio: High Deception”

    “Back in January, I mentioned that iLounge had carried a news item on December 28, 2007, which claimed that Apple would be introducing an iTunes-tagging-capable HD Radio boom box at the 2008 Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco later that month. On-line radio trades, like Radio Ink, picked it up as the first news story of 2008. Just so you can follow the ruse. The 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show was opening in Las Vegas on January 10 followed by MacWorld in San Francisco on January 15.”

    These stunts are generally pulled right before CES and NAB conventions.

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