Curiouser and curiouser. If the rumours are to be believed, Apple is developing an FM radio app for the iPhone and iPod touch. Y'know, because they have FM radio chips -- Apple just hasn't switched them on for you yet.
Apple rumour blog 9to5Mac, which has a reliable track record for publishing leaks, was tipped with the news. The tipster says the iPhone radio app would work in the background much like the iPod application does.
Apparently the reason this functionality wasn't included when the products were released was because Apple wanted to build in a feature that let people buy songs they hear on the radio. If the iPhone could identify what song was playing, it could let users immediately click to buy and download that song from iTunes.
Up until recently, iPods have never had FM radio functionality -- the latest nanos were the first. The FM chips have only been used with the Nike + fitness kit and iTrip-style transmission up till now. The new nano also lets you pause live radio for up to 15 minutes -- something we demoed in our iPod nano video review. It stands to reason that this feature would also appear in any future iPhone or iPod touch applications.
We contacted Apple, but it declined to comment.
Care about FM on your iPhone? Let us know in the comments.