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  • FM Radio Fun for iPhone in June?


    Over the weekend some folks digging in the latest iPhone 3.0 beta 2 firmware build discovered some references to the possible wifi chip for the next generation iPhone due in June. The chip reference is the letter/number code BCM4329 which can be assumes to be in reference to a chip manufactured by Broadcom.

    Obvious features of this new chip include 802.11n support to handle those new speedy 5 GHz wifi networks that the iPhone 3g doesn't support. While faster internet on the phone is all well and good, 9 to 5 Mac noticed some interesting details while digging into more specs about the chip.

    The BSM4329 chip that could be showing up in the next iPhone in June may have the added benefit of FM radio support. There are all sorts of fun things that can be done with FM support. Listen to FM radio on your iPhone or iPod Touch when you want to catch the game. Grab some good old talk radio . Even better how about some streaming of your library over the airways directly to your car stereo (the chip can transmit in addition to receiving) -- no strings or dongles attached.

    Although there would be some awesome possibilities don't expect Apple do have such things enabled by default if they are in fact using that chip. Apple does what they want when they want. Remember it has taken them a couple years since the release of the iPhone for very basic features like copy & paste, MMS, useful bluetooth protocols, etc with firmware 3.0.

    Maybe in the near future some jailbreak devs will be able to have some fun . . .
    This article was originally published in forum thread: FM Radio Fun for iPhone in June? started by Cody Overcash View original post
    Comments 35 Comments
    1. kenfly's Avatar
      kenfly -
      ...And the Apple & DEV game of cat and mouse in the unlocking process will continue.......(again)
    1. ikkviper's Avatar
      ikkviper -
      With all the great new features "coming" to the next gen iPhone...there better be one heck of a battery on this thing...
    1. tattoojack's Avatar
      tattoojack -
      Quote Originally Posted by confucious View Post
      Just because a chip has capabilities doesn't mean they can be used.

      Not my area of speciality but I believe an FM transmitter or receiver needs more hardware than just a chip with FM capabilities and the chip would have to have the right connections wired up. If it isn't enabled by Apple I doubt if it would be a simple software hack or even an external piece of hardware. I would imagine it would involve some serious hardware hacking - and that means it is unlikely to happen.

      Unless, of course, I am totally wrong...

      Just because a chip has capabilities doesn't mean they can be used.

      Not my area of speciality but I believe an FM transmitter or receiver needs more hardware than just a chip with FM capabilities and the chip would have to have the right connections wired up. If it isn't enabled by Apple I doubt if it would be a simple software hack or even an external piece of hardware. I would imagine it would involve some serious hardware hacking - and that means it is unlikely to happen.

      Unless, of course, I am totally wrong...

      apple would not pay for a chip with those capabilities if they had no intentin f use.
      they woulda got a cheaper chip with only the features they wanted.

      and an fm transceiver only needs to be there. its in the chip, so obviously its wired in. it would be stupid to put the chip in and not wire it.
    1. Ozzyman500's Avatar
      Ozzyman500 -
      Quote Originally Posted by CaptainChaos View Post
      And you thought your battery sucked now...
      Actually, have you ever tried WunderRadio? I noticed a drastic change in the battery life in 3.0, it doesn't drain that fast when streaming live radio. I wouldn't be surprised if it could stream radio since 3.0 battery is so much better.
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Quote Originally Posted by D3ath View Post
      So how much longer do you think until we see a legit picture of the new iphone?
      They usually announce the thing a few weeks before it hits shelves. I would guess a couple days-weeks before the announcement. Maybe less?

      Oh, and maybe I am just a downer but I can;t find myself getting excited over an FM tuner. HD radio? Now that's a different story...

      Quote Originally Posted by tattoojack View Post
      apple would not pay for a chip with those capabilities if they had no intentin f use.
      they woulda got a cheaper chip with only the features they wanted.

      and an fm transceiver only needs to be there. its in the chip, so obviously its wired in. it would be stupid to put the chip in and not wire it.
      We have no idea what they paid for the chip. For all we know they got a bargain on this chip, for whatever reason. This isn;t necessarily the case, but I am playing devil's advocate here.
    1. CZroe's Avatar
      CZroe -
      Quote Originally Posted by tattoojack View Post
      if its possible, devs will unlock it for us to use.

      maybe at a small price, but none the less.

      and if apple is gonna use a chip that has those features, its because they intend to use them.

      maybe not now (because they wait for the devs to work out all the bugs for them with the jailbreak apps that they claim are illegal, irony) but eventually.
      Are you really that naive? They never have nor do they ever intend to add A2DP & AVRCP to the original iPhone and they will be charging for the 3.0 update on iPod touch 2G devices just like they charged for 2.0 on iPod touch 1G. They set the precedent when they charged for a driver that unlocked draft 802.11n functionality in their Mac Books. The hardware for A2DP in the original iPhone is there but only dongles will ever add proper support (dongles have SERIOUS flaws in 2.0 but 3.0 should be able to integrate and behave better). Did the jailbreak devs unlock and bug-test A2DP on the 3G & iTouch 2G? NO. Quit fantasizing.

      Quote Originally Posted by tattoojack View Post
      apple would not pay for a chip with those capabilities if they had no intentin f use.
      they woulda got a cheaper chip with only the features they wanted.
      Well, see, that's where you'd be wrong. Broadcom isn't going to go out of their way to make a chip that leaves out these things and sell it for less because it would cost them MORE to open another manufacturing line and reengineer their core logic. It happens ALL THE TIME. In fact, Apple has used many chips that support WMA decode and Janus DRM, but does that mean that they run Windows Mobile, play subscription WMA, and support syncing with a Media Center PC? No. News flash: Apple isn't the only one that buys a multifunction chip while only intending to implement some of the functions. It is COMMON practice.

      Quote Originally Posted by tattoojack View Post
      and an fm transceiver only needs to be there. its in the chip, so obviously its wired in. it would be stupid to put the chip in and not wire it.
      It's an INTEGRATED chip that includes engineering documents for product engineers to implement the specific features they want. FM transmitters require FM antennas genius. The die is still the same size and Broadcom gets to sell the same chip for many different applications with the same cost per wafer. You are obviously thinking "why not build in an FM transmitter and the hardware and software to support it if most of the work is already done?" Just because you don't know doesn't mean that there isn;t an obvious answer: You don't want to give it away for free when you get paid royalties for the ones sold that work off of the dock connector. They may yet do it, but for less noble reasons: They need a way to make their next model stand out to continue the upgrade cycle perpetuated by fixed capacities (no storage expansion) and non-removable batteries. This is something they have nefariously moved into the software world by charging to unlock features that were always there (iPhone OS 3.0 on iPod touch 2G). A paid "software upgrade cycle" if you will that still does not eliminate the hardware upgrade cycle (8-16GB will soon be limiting as will the diminished batteries that can't be easily replaced).
    1. BenzoHartt's Avatar
      BenzoHartt -
      Sounds like fun. :-)
    1. radiomean's Avatar
      radiomean -
      Apple have just got you guys (and gals) addicted in a vicious cycle..
      I held off until I got a seriously hacked iPHone 3G in China and it is MOST unlikely I will upgrade to get (maybe) FM radio, faster HSDPA (currently 2 megs in London so what is the point if the phone supports 7.2 megs when the network infrastructure is not there)..

      They got you consumer hooked..
      I am gonna wait until my iPhone cooks then (maybe) get a new one.
      FM radio - buy a cheap radio HAH..
      Battery - buy an external plug in battery - we all know current phones only last a day or two with present day battery technology .. It is gonna need a quantum jump (NOT iPHone OS 3.0) to change this..

      Sorry if this sounds hostile but current iPhone is fine for me..

      Don't get me wrong, I love my iPhone but do NOT want to upgrade it after 6 months or even a year..
      It gives me phone calls and data on the go which is what I want..
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Quote Originally Posted by radiomean View Post
      currently 2 megs in London so what is the point if the phone supports 7.2 megs when the network infrastructure is not there
      Except the network is there. Just because you don't use it doesn't mean T-Mobile don't provide it.


      Not that I think the next iPhone will support 7.2 mind you....
    1. radiomean's Avatar
      radiomean -
      My TyTN 2 and Voda SIM support 7.2 but the most I ever get in London is around 2 meg.. Same on my iPhone..

      Maybe at 3.45 AM you would get 7.2 meg but not in the normal working day, is the point I am making (high speed mobile broadband is pretty much in its infancy, thus support on the iPhone for 7.2 meg is not IMO a reason to rush out and buy a new one!!)

      Cheers and Happy Easter..
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      If the phone only supports 3.6 you won't get 2Mb (or not normally) by increasing the supported speed to 7.2 you will get faster speeds.

      But like I say, I don't believe it will happen.
    1. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
      true
    1. cstyle251's Avatar
      cstyle251 -
      it would be nice to listen to a local station on my iphone and also transmit to my radio via the iphone. can anyone help me, is there an app or program thru cydia that allow me to listen to music in my bluetooth headset. thanks
    1. n00neimp0rtant's Avatar
      n00neimp0rtant -
      Quote Originally Posted by tattoojack View Post
      and if apple is gonna use a chip that has those features, its because they intend to use them.
      Unfortunately they might pull an iPod-touch-2G-Bluetooth-enabled-a-year-after-it-is-out again.
    1. CZroe's Avatar
      CZroe -
      Quote Originally Posted by tattoojack View Post
      if its possible, devs will unlock it for us to use.

      maybe at a small price, but none the less.

      and if apple is gonna use a chip that has those features, its because they intend to use them.

      maybe not now (because they wait for the devs to work out all the bugs for them with the jailbreak apps that they claim are illegal, irony) but eventually.
      Wrong, or else we'd have WMA and other lossless audio codecs than Apple's in more than half the iPods that exist.

      Quote Originally Posted by IndianCheese View Post
      Unfortunately they might pull an iPod-touch-2G-Bluetooth-enabled-a-year-after-it-is-out again.
      Umm, the iPhone 3G will be a year old too. That said, they never intended to add A2DP as evidenced by the fact that they can't be used simultaneously (same antenna?) and the audio is out of sync with the video, which is something even the first A2DP MP3 player in the US, the Insignia NS-DVB4G, compensated for.