What if SIRIUS XM never produced another portable?

TSS Taylor

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So I'm curious as there seems to be less and less interest in SIRIUS XM coming out or developing a standalone portable device what that might mean for the overall.

If no more Stiletto's or XMP3s were developed what happens? How would it affect you later on?

I suspect the following.
-People may have a more difficult time and have to go through more hassles to record there favorite programs
-Portables that had been made will be more sought after and carry a high value like Strong FM Transmitter radios were.
-Perhaps another manufacturer would see the need for such a device and develop one.
-More emphasis would be put on developing software and programs for popular phones and other devices.

What is your take if portables simply died out?
 
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drdroo

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I think it's more likely that Sirius will never see another portable but XM will.

Let's just say I'm a little apprehensive about the fact that the only thing Sirius has for a new receiver is the Stratus 6 while XM has the XMp3 (came out several months back), the Onyx, the Skydock, etc.

As a Sirius fan and customer I feel like we're being kinda screwed on this one. They should make a Sirius portable that has some of the Travelink features and is around the size of the Onyx, something like that. I've always felt Sirius Travellink is better than XM's solution but just poorly marketed and provided.
 

TSS Taylor

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I think it's more likely that Sirius will never see another portable but XM will.

Let's just say I'm a little apprehensive about the fact that the only thing Sirius has for a new receiver is the Stratus 6 while XM has the XMp3 (came out several months back), the Onyx, the Skydock, etc.

As a Sirius fan and customer I feel like we're being kinda screwed on this one. They should make a Sirius portable that has some of the Travelink features and is around the size of the Onyx, something like that. I've always felt Sirius Travellink is better than XM's solution but just poorly marketed and provided.
The Stiletto 2 is 2 years old. XMP3 is 1 year old. Totally agree SIRIUS Travel Link far better than XM NavTraffic. Worlds better. I've had both. Man I wish my system had Travel Link.

The fact is ever since the merger both sides have had people saying "their side of the service" has gotten screwed over. I'm not so sure it's as bad as some say but clearly people are sensitive to making the new service have the best of both worlds. SIRIUS does have a lot of good aspects with radios. And the Stiletto 2 for example is still very relevant vs the XMP3 which came out a year later.

The XM Chipset however has more space on it, but they also dedicate less bandwidth to channels like Traffic and Weather on the XM side. If it has to do with making sure they are developing on a higher bandwidth chipset then it seems more reasonable to focus on XM products UNTIL the SIRIUS chipset gets brought up to speed. But I'm not sure that's what is going on.
 

Allanon

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I would definitely drop Sirius if I couldn't get some portable device that:
1- Catches live satellite radio (with news and economic talk shows).
2- Can carry mp3s.
3- Allows you to record for time-shifted listening.
4- Can be placed on a home dock and on a car dock.

I wouldn't have bought Sirius equipment if I had been looking for Internet radio. I can already get most of what I'd like for free on the Internet. It's the ability to get a live signal when I'm outside the home (walking, in the car, and when on vacation far from civilization) and to record on a schedule that got me to buy the SL2, which I love.

I think that it would be a sad move if Sirius/XM didn't continue developing a portable satellite receiver line of product.
 
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drdroo

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The Stiletto 2 is 2 years old. XMP3 is 1 year old.
Right. Stiletto 2 was announced in Oct of 2007. I believe XMP3 was announced in NOV of 2008. Not sure when either went on sale though but both were out for the Christmas season of their years.

The fact is ever since the merger both sides have had people saying "their side of the service" has gotten screwed over. I'm not so sure it's as bad as some say but clearly people are sensitive to making the new service have the best of both worlds. SIRIUS does have a lot of good aspects with radios. And the Stiletto 2 for example is still very relevant vs the XMP3 which came out a year later.
Agreed, the Stiletto 2 recording features are night and day different/better than the XMP3. However, I haven't seen Sirius release a software update in ages for EITHER device and I haven't seen a whole lot of 'support' from Sirius when it comes to recording problems on the SL2. I hope that we're not going to just see a situation where either or both devices 'expire' before the Christmas season. We already can't get a big boombox anymore for the SL2. Admittedly I don't know if the SLBB2 was some sort of huge seller either.

The XM Chipset however has more space on it, but they also dedicate less bandwidth to channels like Traffic and Weather on the XM side. If it has to do with making sure they are developing on a higher bandwidth chipset then it seems more reasonable to focus on XM products UNTIL the SIRIUS chipset gets brought up to speed. But I'm not sure that's what is going on.
My bigger concern is that Sirius will become the bargain basement product and XM will get all of the innovation. It really does look like that at the moment, but I would hope for a situation like you speak of where Sirius's chipset technology is just being brought up to par.

Even with the Onyx and XMP3, I don't feel that XM has really changed their feature set of their chipsets since the devices previous to them. If that's the case, then at the very least Sirius could potentially 'catch up'.
 

DAB

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This is already being discussed in a few threads. It is my opinion that we likely won't see anymore portables.

Taylor would likely know more about this than me, but I don't think these portables ever really sold that well when compared to the PNP's. Some because of the pricing point and some because most are really only interested in listening from within a vehicle or home. The ability to listen to live sat radio in portable mode never really worked that well. The headphones were crappy and the reception was spoty.

I do think that the iPhone/iPod Touch Streaming App and Skydock App are really do allow Sirius XM to tap into millions of potential subscribers. I feel if they do well with this setup, we can expect to see them roll out for other phones like Windows Mobile, RIM, Symbian and Palm.

I also feel that the factory installs and continuing subscriptions there are most important for their long term survival.
 

HecticArt

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I'd be up for a new Sirius portable.
I know eventually everything is going to be on our cells anyway, but I think a totally cell solution is still a few years away. Integration for everyone that isn't on an iPhone, universal docks, expanded memory capacity, remotes, battery life, etc.

I'd be happy with a stable version of the SL2, but a few more features would be great.
Touch screen wouldn't be worth it. Keep the price down.

An external portable antenna would still be decent too.
 

drdroo

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I do think that the iPhone/iPod Touch Streaming App and Skydock App are really do allow Sirius XM to tap into millions of potential subscribers. I feel if they do well with this setup, we can expect to see them roll out for other phones like Windows Mobile, RIM, Symbian and Palm.
I doubt this is the case. There are too many form factors to cover and many of these devices cannot support USB Host, amongst other things. I think it'd just be an expensive engineering headache.

It works for the iPod/iPhone because the form factor and interface is consistent.

By the way, this doesn't fix the recording problem. A majority of our Stiletto customers use their devices to record shows. It'll probably be a colder day in hell before Apple would ever let anyone record content to their devices.

I also feel that the factory installs and continuing subscriptions there are most important for their long term survival.
Have you looked at the factory installs lately? They're largely garbage except for the Tech package XM vehicles and the Ford Sirius+Travelink+Sync setup. I can understand why many of our customers want to interface their OEM antenna to a portable unit instead.

The non-navigation OEM setups are largely sad...
 

IdRatherBeSkiing

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I refused to believe I am unique. What has sold me on satrad is satrad anywhere. Except for my car radio and my Roady XT deal, all my satrads have been portables. Live reception is only a small part of it. The big thing is being able to record and delay stuff. People I have talked to about satrad have not been impressed with commercial free music or content but the fact that I could be listening to it on the GO train, the office, a restaurant, etc. If Sirius XM has not done well in the portable market, its probably their own fault. I think the market is/was there.

The iPhone/portable phone market is a huge market for sure. It is the market of the people who currently do not have satrad but now can have it on their phone. With 300 million Americans, 280 million do not currently have satrad.

I think over the last couple of years, I would suspect 80% of the new subs have been factory car installations. This is primarly because that is what both Sirius and XM were 100% focused on. Now that that market has dried up, they are forced to once again focus their efforts elsewhere. The fact is they should not have focused on only 1 area in the first place. Lets hope they have learned their lesson and will continue to focus on all their marketting opportunity.

I don't think they need a new portable for a while. I think they should just fix the SL2 and XMP3 and sell them for a while.
 

TSS Taylor

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I think SIRIUS XM needs to develop radios that suit different needs. I don't think it's worthwhile to develop new radios that don't do much more than the previous model IE Stratus, Stratus 4, Stratus 5, at least Stratus 6 has Power Connect and Ala Carte.

Developing new radios that don't do anything more than the previous model is like GM carrying the same vehicle under different brand names. It's just lame. The current line of radios are fantastic especially with Power Connect but just instead of doing a Sportster 6 or an XpressRC 2 make a radio that provides a new service or has something unique.
 

drdroo

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I'd be up for a new Sirius portable.
I know eventually everything is going to be on our cells anyway, but I think a totally cell solution is still a few years away. Integration for everyone that isn't on an iPhone, universal docks, expanded memory capacity, remotes, battery life, etc.
I think you're going to find that the cell carriers are quite happy with ridiculously low amounts of bandwidth per month for a ton of money. Data on cellular is one of the biggest scams going, second to text messages. Satellites are cheap and work incredibly well for broadcast.

With that said, Sirius and XM did stream channels on Sprint and AT&T respectively. I haven't heard a thing about it in forever. Maybe both situations crashed and burned?

I'm partially kidding but, "I'm sorry I couldn't take your call. My battery was dead from listening to Internet radio." ;) The data to the cell will get faster but I don't expect the battery life is going to get better. We're going to be lucky if it stays stagnant.

An external portable antenna would still be decent too.
Agreed. Sirius XM doesn't seem interested in these with the Stiletto line or the XMP3 units. I do thinkj such a thing is more useful than antenna headphones. I'd rather not use cheap antenna headphones instead of my 250$-ish Ultimate Ears.
 

DAB

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I'd be up for a new Sirius portable.
I know eventually everything is going to be on our cells anyway, but I think a totally cell solution is still a few years away. Integration for everyone that isn't on an iPhone, universal docks, expanded memory capacity, remotes, battery life, etc.

I'd be happy with a stable version of the SL2, but a few more features would be great.
Touch screen wouldn't be worth it. Keep the price down.

An external portable antenna would still be decent too.
I think you are exactly right, cry, scream and whine all you want too, but that is where we are heading. The fact is currently this setup isn't the be all and end all that folks would like it to be. It too will get better as more and more technology is added to single devices.

I do understand that there are those that want to be able to record and have this content available. However, I just don't think it requires an SL2 or XMp3 in order to do it. YES those devices are convenient, but there isn't much other than sports that I can currently record with my Replay AV setup and have on my iPod Touch or iPhone. I understand this process isn't nearly as simple as scheduling, but I set my Replay AV to record, it records it, convert it to a format for my iPod/iPhone and even throws in into iTunes. When I connect my iPod/iPhone it automatically syncs. The other thing is because I can record at 128kb the SQ is better to boot. In fact I have over 48 hours of The Bridge on my iPhone right now.

I do think we are sometimes away from Sirius totally getting away from their own hardware and they may always maintain some hardware, I just don't see them spending a lot of money or time in terms of continuing to roll out new portables. Hey, I could be wrong about that, but I say stay tuned and we will all find out.

I sometimes really wish we knew what their plans are in terms of hardware, combining spectrum under one system etc.
 

DAB

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I doubt this is the case. There are too many form factors to cover and many of these devices cannot support USB Host, amongst other things. I think it'd just be an expensive engineering headache.

By the way, this doesn't fix the recording problem. A majority of our Stiletto customers use their devices to record shows. It'll probably be a colder day in hell before Apple would ever let anyone record content to their devices.

Have you looked at the factory installs lately? They're largely garbage except for the Tech package XM vehicles and the Ford Sirius+Travelink+Sync setup. I can understand why many of our customers want to interface their OEM antenna to a portable unit instead.

The non-navigation OEM setups are largely sad...
Well you could be right, but then again you could be wrong! I wouldn't bet against them moving foward with at minimum streaming applications for various types of phones. Hardware of course would be much more problematic and I think they will look at that going forward depending on how the iPhone/iPod Touch Dock sales go.

Recording isn't a problem in reality with 3rd party software. I already explained that above in my previous post, simple as pie.

Honestly we can hold on hoping things won't really change, but I think technology is changing and the way folks get their entertainment and music is too. Sirius needs to jump on the phone bandwagon no doubt about it. The question is does this mean they will abondon their sats? I don't think so I just think they will find better ways to make use of it that are more cost effective for them. If that means docks that's what we'll see. If that means new PNP's or even portable we'll see those too. One thing for sure they don't need to leave a single stone unturned. In the end there is likely going to be a good balance between OEM's, Phone Apps and PNP's.

Also for as crappy as OEM setups maybe that is still likely what the majority of subscribers have as we know PNP sales have steadily declined since their push towards OEM's. I don't disagree that for the most part they are crap. None the less for someone that has never had the service they don't know any better.
 

drdroo

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Well you could be right, but then again you could be wrong! I wouldn't bet against them moving foward with at minimum streaming applications for various types of phones.
It's not about hardware, it's about service providers. They may have a streaming app, but if the limit is 5GB/mo, who's going to test fate? Sprint has a 300mb/mo roaming data rule.

Recording isn't a problem in reality with 3rd party software. I already explained that above in my previous post, simple as pie.
Simple as pie? For you maybe. Putting it into my Stiletto 10/100 or 2 and it takes care of the rest is MUCH easier than frigging around with Replay Radio. There's nothing saying that SiriusXM won't pick a vendetta some day against Applian and shut down that application either.

I use Radio Replays a ton too. There's no way to replicate a feature like that.

Also for as crappy as OEM setups maybe that is still likely what the majority of subscribers have as we know PNP sales have steadily declined since their push towards OEM's. I don't disagree that for the most part they are crap. None the less for someone that has never had the service they don't know any better.
It also doesn't help that if the vehicle didn't come with it, the OEM kit is expensive as hell to add too. People aren't interested in paying 400-1000$ to add Satellite Radio to their brand new car they just bought for 30 grand.
 

flap_jackson

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Honestly, my Inno's been workable for two years, but if it broke, I'd basically only need it until next summer when I plan to switch exclusively to the iPhone app.
 

DAB

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It's not about hardware, it's about service providers. They may have a streaming app, but if the limit is 5GB/mo, who's going to test fate? Sprint has a 300mb/mo roaming data rule.
There are indeed limits, but me being someone that generally test the limits I have never even gotten anywhere near my 5GB limit. Lets not forget folk will be doing a combination between Network and Wifi use. I think most have enough sense to be able to manage this. I dont' know about your phone, but mine tells me my exact useage and I can even login to AT&T and see what I've used.

Simple as pie? For you maybe. Putting it into my Stiletto 10/100 or 2 and it takes care of the rest is MUCH easier than frigging around with Replay Radio. There's nothing saying that SiriusXM won't pick a vendetta some day against Applian and shut down that application either.
Now you are grasping at straws with the what if's nonsense. What if we have a meteor shower and all Sirius XM sats get knocked out of the sky. LOL The fact is that if Sirius gains just 1 percent of all the iPhone/iPod Touch owners to get a sub, then I don't think they will have a parting of the ways with Apple. I won't play the what if game, which is mere speculation based on nothing!

By the way installing Replay AV, then setting up your username and password and scheduling your recordings is no more difficult than doing it on the SL2. Like I said it records it, convert it and even adds it to iTunes. You plug in your iPod or iPhone and it auto syncs it. YES, simple as pie! You think all us Sat Radio customers are stupid or something? Is doing it on the SL2 easier, YES, but we aren't talking about which one is easier. My point is that if these portables went away having this content is still doable. I am not going to get in a pissing contest with you, it isn't that important.

It also doesn't help that if the vehicle didn't come with it, the OEM kit is expensive as hell to add too. People aren't interested in paying 400-1000$ to add Satellite Radio to their brand new car they just bought for 30 grand.
Here recently many of the OEM's are throwing in the equipment, lets face it it doesn't cost them what they charge subscribers for it. So, this is a good perk for them to give away. However, I do understand that OEM's are expensive if you have to buy it full price, but these days wise shoppers can get it pretty cheap it they just make a little effort.

Did you listen to the last financial report? OEM still constitute majority of subs.
 

drdroo

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I dont' know about your phone, but mine tells me my exact useage and I can even login to AT&T and see what I've used.
My cellular carrier is awesome and has an unlimited smartphone plan.. Glad it's not one of the 'Big 4'.

LOL The fact is that if Sirius gains just 1 percent of all the iPhone/iPod Touch owners to get a sub, then I don't think they will have a parting of the ways with Apple. I won't play the what if game, which is mere speculation based on nothing!
I said Applian (the maker of ReplayAV), not Apple.

I never once said that it was stupid to support iPhone and iPod either. I think the Skydock is a good idea.

Here recently many of the OEM's are throwing in the equipment
Depends on the brand. I still have a constant stream of people with 2009 and 2010 Satellite Ready Toyotas and Fords that request kits because the dealer wants a signiciant amount of money for it. BMW and Mini customers are another group of people.

In some cases (I believe BMW is one such example), the dealer doesn't even have an available kit to install because it's apparently been on backorder for a very long period of time. Whether that's true, I'm not sure, but I've heard the same story from multiple people.

lets face it it doesn't cost them what they charge subscribers for it. So, this is a good perk for them to give away. However, I do understand that OEM's are expensive if you have to buy it full price, but these days wise shoppers can get it pretty cheap it they just make a little effort.
Those customers should have an easy way to add the kit without having to 'make a little effort' to add a subscription feature to their vehicle. This is about getting subscribers, right?

The only saving grace really is that companies like Peripheral are making kits for some of these OEM partner vehicles. It's certainly good for us, though there are several brands we still don't support (and some we never will).

Did you listen to the last financial report? OEM still constitute majority of subs, but to listen to you that is all just bogus.
I have a lot of questions about the breakdowns of those subs that isn't explained in the Financial report.
 

DAB

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I said Applian (the maker of ReplayAV), not Apple.

I never once said that it was stupid to support iPhone and iPod either. I think the Skydock is a good idea.
My bad! I am glad you think the Skydock is a good idea, we are agree on that!

Those customers should have an easy way to add the kit without having to 'make a little effort' to add a subscription feature to their vehicle. This is about getting subscribers, right?

The only saving grace really is that companies like Peripheral are making kits for some of these OEM partner vehicles. It's certainly good for us, though there are several brands we still don't support (and some we never will).
Absolutely it is about getting subscribers, but one of the issues here is poor management by Sirius not to do a better job with OEM's and providing a standard that all these OEM's could lock into. You take iPhone and iPod's most all cars have the adapters now because Apple standardized and that has gone a long way with them being added to so many OEM's. Also selling millions of iPod's and iPhone didn't hurt either.

I have a lot of questions about the breakdowns of those subs that isn't explained in the Financial report.
Don't we all! Still they have repeatedly said OEM's are the mainstay of their business model.
 

drdroo

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My bad! I am glad you think the Skydock is a good idea, we are agree on that!
Oh certainly. I'm glad they didn't freeze out iPod touch owners either. I just think recording would've been a great addition and would justify a lower need for a portable unit. Unfortunately Apple gets queasy about things that could hurt their iTunes sales.

Speaking of iPods and MP3 players, SiriusXM should also be selling some of their content. Not necessarily selling talk show content, but they do have some live songs performed at Sirius, etc. that would be another revenue stream without diluting the service.

I know Sirius had some clips of programming on iTunes at one point, but I don't believe it ever went past that. Correct me if i'm wrong.

Absolutely it is about getting subscribers, but one of the issues here is poor management by Sirius not to do a better job with OEM's and providing a standard that all these OEM's could lock into.
Isn't the SCC1 a standardized interface though? OEMs should be able to take that and make a conversion module to their OEM setup. Admittedly, OEM's cycles are often a lot longer than the SCC1 has been out.

I think the OEMs have failed themselves in some regard. They really like their own proprietary interfaces without SiriusXM's help so they can charge more for parts and dealer addons.

Don't we all! Still they have repeatedly said OEM's are the mainstay of their business model.
I'm sure they are in a penetration sense, but I'd be interested to know how many churn out after promo, after 3, 6, 12 (or even 36) months (the 'free' periods from various brands), how many pay 1 year after promo and then churn out, etc.

I'm sure they have access to these numbers but it would really help us see the OEM sector's value.