Everything in this 1991 Radio Shack ad can be done on a smartphone:

A lot of the Nokia dumbphones (I have one) support it to this day. Go figure!

I’m not sure that Nokia ever entirely abandoned the “feature phone” mindset, and honestly, bless 'em for it!

You’re right! I’d totally forgotten about that. Of course, the reason you needed the headphones is because they didn’t actually include an antenna in the handset.

Huh. Okay, I had no idea that there had ever been cell phones with actual radio reception. Streaming radio may be comparable (and honestly I prefer Pandora/last.fm/Spotify to any sort of actual radio), but there are practical differences, hence my quibble. But if you can get the real thing…welp.

Well, not sure if the point was made well enough or not, but there are also apps that actually pull down the digital stream of most radio stations in the U.S. When my girlfriend and I went to watch some fireworks in our old hometown a couple of years back, we got out of the car to get a better view, losing access to the local radio station that was playing music timed to the show. Luckily, a quick download got me back listening to that exact radio station–via a 3G connection rather than direct interface with the radio waves–commercials and all. I could have just as easily listened in to a station in LA or NYC if I’d wanted to.

Yes, I get that, since I a) already knew that and b) like ten different people said so in this very thread. It’s still not the same thing, even if there’s strong overlap in content.

I’m not really sure how it’s not the same thing, seeing as how it’s literally the same sounds that come out of a radio tuned to the same station.

On the original topic I always like to say, “Is that $5k worth of 1991 computing power in your pocket or are you happy to see me?” And by always I mean say to people who might laugh and most certainly will not throw rotten vegetables at me.

Because it’s not picking up radio waves and converting them into sound. So, y’know, not the same thing.

Practically speaking, if the radio station in question has an internet version of the broadcast and both ends of the connection are solid, then the only functional difference is that internet radio is using up data on your plan, but neither of those things are givens. (Conversely, the range of options is obviously a lot larger with internet radio.)