What if SIRIUS XM never produced another portable?

shabadoo25

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If you take out the subset of tech nerds like us, the vast majority of satrad listeners are going to be through their OEM car stereo, on the Internet or through their tv (satellite channels on DISH or DirecTV). Only big city dwellers that walk a lot are going to use a live portable.

I love them and wished they worked perfectly, but between the costs, the docks and the glitches, I don't think they'll ever do all that well.

And I love my XMP3, btw. XM's sound continues to be superior to Sirius'. It's night and day.
 

TSS Taylor

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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'.
It may look like XM gets better hardware but SIRIUS has the only two ala carte radios. Stratus 6 and Starmate 5.
 

Vargas

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No new portable would be, for me, a disaster.

I love the portables for the mp3, the recording and most of all, the WIFI connectivity. I use the wifi on my sl2 just as much or more than live sat. reception.

I don't have an iphone, don't want an Iphone so I don't care about the sirius app or the sirius iphone dock--I think it is a GREAT step in getting sirius in the hands of the masses and love the fact that it is out but I won't have one.

I want a new portable. I don't want a new sportster 19 or stratus 12.

Give me an Sl3 with wifi and bluetooth and I'll be really happy.
 

HecticArt

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No new portable would be, for me, a disaster.

I love the portables for the mp3, the recording and most of all, the WIFI connectivity. I use the wifi on my sl2 just as much or more than live sat. reception.

I don't have an iphone, don't want an Iphone so I don't care about the sirius app or the sirius iphone dock--I think it is a GREAT step in getting sirius in the hands of the masses and love the fact that it is out but I won't have one.

I want a new portable. I don't want a new sportster 19 or stratus 12.

Give me an Sl3 with wifi and bluetooth and I'll be really happy.
:bigclap:
 

DAB

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WiFi is such an awesome and underrated feature. XM will figure that out one of these days.
XM? There is no XM there is just Sirius XM now. Seems since Sirius had already figured this out and Wifi was so important they would have at least released a new XM portable with Wifi. I do agree though that the Wifi is great it was one of my favorite things about the SL2.

I think there are going to be some disappointed folks, because unless it has been kept very, very secret there does not appear to even be a portable on the horizon for either side of the network. However, if I was a betting man and felt they were going to release one (I don't), but if I did I would bet it would be on the XM side likely with Wifi.
 

drdroo

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XM? There is no XM there is just Sirius XM now.
So you're saying there's engineers/designers for both services instead of a team of for each service? That sounds like a lot of stress for those individuals if that's the case.

Seems since Sirius had already figured this out and Wifi was so important they would have at least released a new XM portable with Wifi.
You'd think so, but as you pointed out previously, the XMP3 was already 'ready to go' and wasn't a SiriusXM device. It's not a cheap situation to just abandon a product if production is imminent or already started.

I think there are going to be some disappointed folks, because unless it has been kept very, very secret there does not appear to even be a portable on the horizon for either side of the network. However, if I was a betting man and felt they were going to release one (I don't), but if I did I would bet it would be on the XM side likely with Wifi.
No real reason to release a replacement to the XMP3, it isn't that old yet. It would be nice if they refreshed the software to have a more comprehensive recording solution though. I think it'd also be nicer if they released a Powerconnect dock for it.

I'm surprised peoplle haven't tried to create their own OS for these devices. After all, the ZING Linux-based software has been disassembled and hacked for the Sansa device. The same tools could've probably been used for the Stiletto. There just isn't enough of a market in satellite radio to justify the effort I guess.
 

DAB

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So you're saying there's engineers/designers for both services instead of a team of for each service? That sounds like a lot of stress for those individuals if that's the case.
I think these systems/networks are maintained separately out of necessity. However, I don't think there are separate crews making decisions about hardware and support issues with already existing hardware. I think that is now under one department within Corporate Sirius XM.

If that was the case I think the XMp3 would have long ago been fixed, because XM had a pretty solid history of fixing their hardware vs Sirius.

No real reason to release a replacement to the XMP3, it isn't that old yet. It would be nice if they refreshed the software to have a more comprehensive recording solution though. I think it'd also be nicer if they released a Powerconnect dock for it.
It may happen, I see they released a PowerConnect dock for the Xpress line of PNP's. I think it would certainly be a good thing for the XMp3.

Considering the SL2 is 2 years old you'd think if either of them would have gotten a refresh it would be the SL, but the fact that they have not and there has been nothing leaked via the FCC web site you can almost rest assured there is nothing pending. Unless they have done a really great job of keeping it secret. I've heard the SL2 production has already stopped, so what stock is out there is all she row. I've not heard anything specific to the XMp3.

Maybe there will be a new portable released next year and like I said if I was a betting man, I'd say it will be for the XM network! Just a guess on my part! But certainly plays into them keeping that income stream going with selling a lot of value added BOS packages. Plus I still feel that at some point when the spectrum is combined it will be done on the XM network. Pure Speculation and like any speculation I could be wrong!
 

drdroo

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I think these systems/networks are maintained separately out of necessity. However, I don't think there are separate crews making decisions about hardware and support issues with already existing hardware. I think that is now under one department within Corporate Sirius XM.
I'd think there would be a difference in teams purely because we're talking about diesel vs gasoline here. Sirius and XM both deliver satellite radio but there are enough differences to warrant different teams.

If that was the case I think the XMp3 would have long ago been fixed, because XM had a pretty solid history of fixing their hardware vs Sirius.
Only if there's money to do so. Some of the teams I work with are still the same groups of people I've always worked with, but the people funding are new and have different agendas.

It may happen, I see they released a PowerConnect dock for the Xpress line of PNP's. I think it would certainly be a good thing for the XMp3.
Agreed. Unfortunately we're still waiting for the Sirius Powerconnect parts. I've seen things suggesting it could be the end of the year before we see them. I hope that's not the case.

Considering the SL2 is 2 years old you'd think if either of them would have gotten a refresh it would be the SL, but the fact that they have not and there has been nothing leaked via the FCC web site you can almost rest assured there is nothing pending.
If they fixed the software problems, I don't see that the SL2 really needs a refresh. The only gain would really be maybe a smaller unit (not really a good reason to upgrade) or alacarte support.

Unless they have done a really great job of keeping it secret. I think the SL2 product has already stopped, so what stock is out there is all she row. I've not heard anything specific to the XMp3.
I don't believe the SL2 is there yet but it probably will be soon. XMP3 hasn't gone discon according to Pioneer.

But certainly plays into them keeping that income stream going with selling a lot of value added BOS packages.
They could be getting Best of XM subscriptions if they'd work something out with the MLB. As it goes there is very little compelling content worth paying for Best of XM unless they do.

Plus I still feel that at some point when the spectrum is combined it will be done on the XM network. Pure Speculation and like any speculation I could be wrong!
I think anything like that is a long ways off. Any decision like that would have to take the OEM subs into account too. Look at how long it's going to take Dish Network to convert all their MPEG2 customers to MPEG4, and that's within their own service with about 13 million customers and without OEM considerations.
 

DAB

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If they fixed the software problems, I don't see that the SL2 really needs a refresh. The only gain would really be maybe a smaller unit (not really a good reason to upgrade) or alacarte support.
I agree they need to figure out a way to get the problems with the SL2 fixed, but the question is with them not having the money will they? There are rumors that they may, but I would not hold my breath. I don't see making it smaller or having alacarte being that important. In fact alacarte hasn't that pretty much been a flop or maybe a better description would be a joke?

I don't believe the SL2 is there yet but it probably will be soon. XMP3 hasn't gone discon according to Pioneer.
Clearly if production hasn't stopped and I think it has, then it certainly in the last stages of being stopped. Pioneer still going strong with the XMp3, you'd think it would be Pioneer's responsibility to fix the issues with the XMp3, but that is not how XM's agreement was put into place I am sure. Back when that agreement was done XM had a pretty good R&D departement themselves.

They could be getting Best of XM subscriptions if they'd work something out with the MLB. As it goes there is very little compelling content worth paying for Best of XM unless they do.
I think if this doesn't come to pass it is going to be pretty telling about what Sirius XM is doing here. I am not sure at this late state it matters either, because I think for those that really wanted MLB they already have XM. But clearly if they don't get MLB in their BOXM package and continue to push out XM equipment then they plan to slowly through a natural process have people move to the XM network.

I think anything like that is a long ways off. Any decision like that would have to take the OEM subs into account too. Look at how long it's going to take Dish Network to convert all their MPEG2 customers to MPEG4, and that's within their own service with about 13 million customers and without OEM considerations.
There is no doubt they have many years to accomplish this, but this isn't something you start working on a month before you are ready to do it. You can bet they have a long term plan in place. They also know which network they plan to go with. Again my gut tells me it is the XM network. When I look at what they are doing and how they are doing it, it just makes sense. The only kink in that was them putting up the GEOsynchronous sat, but I think that was already in the works and contracted so they just went with it. Besides that like you said we are talking long term plans and they have to maintain two separate systems, I think the agreement was for 15 years. By then that sat will be nearing the end of its life. Overtime their vision will become clear, but right now they don't want us to know.

They other thing that will be telling is if we start noticing some of these OEM's switching to one system/network or the other. Clearly this is something they have to accomplish to get where they need to be long term. It will be interesting to see how it pans out.
 

drdroo

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I agree they need to figure out a way to get the problems with the SL2 fixed, but the question is with them not having the money will they?
I think the bigger focus is to turn a profit at any cost. SL2's subscriber base is high as the only portable unit, but still low compared to OEM and PNP subscribed units. I've no idea if Zing (now part of Dell) is really all that interested in dealing with Sirius anymore either.

Maybe we'll see cool things if/when SiriusXM turns a profit. I hope so, but I also hope we don't see a massive spending on crap just because they made some money.

There are rumors that they may, but I would not hold my breath. I don't see making it smaller or having alacarte being that important. In fact alacarte hasn't that pretty much been a flop or maybe a better description would be a joke?
Agreed, which was basically my point. Alacarte and smaller unit is really no reason to invest the money to refresh the unit.

Alacarte in concept is a good idea. Alacarte as a Sirius offering ha been a flop. I get asked about it, but rarely. I remind customers that, for the most part, it makes little sense. With the Starmate 5 and the (yet released) Stratus 6 being the only units capable of supporting it, it's a non-starter for hardware support too.

Pioneer still going strong with the XMp3, you'd think it would be Pioneer's responsibility to fix the issues with the XMp3, but that is not how XM's agreement was put into place I am sure. Back when that agreement was done XM had a pretty good R&D departement themselves.
I think you're right. I didn't bother to look but I wouldn't be surprised to see that XM provided the engineering sample and FCC testing data themselves, much like they've done with other units like the Inno/Helix. Pioneer's merely a vendor with their name on the product and likely had little to do with the creation of the device.

I think if this doesn't come to pass it is going to be pretty telling about what Sirius XM is doing here. I am not sure at this late state it matters either, because I think for those that really wanted MLB they already have XM. But clearly if they don't get MLB in their BOXM package and continue to push out XM equipment then they plan to slowly through a natural process have people move to the XM network.
It will only move people who want MLB bad enough to justify subscribing to XM. I think you'll find that's probably a narrow subset of the people who would subscribe to Best of XM if it had MLB. It's another ballgame when you have to buy new hardware.

As it goes, we're still in business and while we offer XM hardware, we're more known for Sirius. People aren't going to ditch their Sirius units for XM units unless they have a really compelling reason to do so. I spend much of my time for TSS repairing Sirius radios that are 4 years old because people don't want to get rid of them.

You can bet they have a long term plan in place.
Planning would be a first. I do kind of wonder if this company has a modified Twister spinner and decide how to operate day to day based on that.

The only kink in that was them putting up the GEOsynchronous sat, but I think that was already in the works and contracted so they just went with it.
I think you mean Geostationary. All of the satellites are geosynchronous because they have a 24 hour cycle. I do agree that the geostationary sat was already in motion before the merger and it made sense to just roll with it instead of leaving it on the ground. From what we've seen it's improved the Sirius service for the better.

If they could find a way to make use of the other Sirius sat that is now decommissioned for use on the XM network, they may have two services with very similar coverage options in this country. It could potentially improve things for northern US and Canadian customers without severely impacting the existing customer base.

They could make this quite interesting by simply offering Stern on one service and not the other, or putting him on XM and charging for Best of XM on Sirius, etc. I'm not so sure that's a wise idea (because it could just piss off a ton of customers and they'd leave instead), but I think we agree that there is a 'make money' slant on this business and it's at the expense of existing customers. The music licensing fee is definitely indicative of that.
 

DAB

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I think the bigger focus is to turn a profit at any cost. SL2's subscriber base is high as the only portable unit, but still low compared to OEM and PNP subscribed units. I've no idea if Zing (now part of Dell) is really all that interested in dealing with Sirius anymore either.
Well lets face it profit is key at this point because for going on 10 years all they've done is spend money with no return. This is just one more reason why I don't see them fixing the SL2, but hopefully they can work out something with Dell for the Zing division to fix the issues. I'd still not hold my breath!

Alacarte in concept is a good idea. Alacarte as a Sirius offering ha been a flop.
This was purely for the FCC to gain approval!

It will only move people who want MLB bad enough to justify subscribing to XM. I think you'll find that's probably a narrow subset of the people who would subscribe to Best of XM if it had MLB. It's another ballgame when you have to buy new hardware.

As it goes, we're still in business and while we offer XM hardware, we're more known for Sirius. People aren't going to ditch their Sirius units for XM units unless they have a really compelling reason to do so. I spend much of my time for TSS repairing Sirius radios that are 4 years old because people don't want to get rid of them.
There is no doubt you'll have folk hold on to equipment forever. However, this is at some point going to be an issue that will face them. So, you either slowly push and nudge folks in one direction or the other over time so that when you finally have to make the decision, you only have a small amount of customers to deal with. Then it would be more affordable and you'd be less likely to lose customers when you force them to move to one system or the other. They would likely be in a position financially by then to even provide hardware for those numbers to move to one system or the other. All very doable and very manageable, but it requires a plan with them clearly pushing new subscriber to one system or the other at some point. I'd watch OEM's and see which direction they go. Bottom line at some point regardless of yours and TSS experience with folks wanting to hold on to equipment they will have to make it happen.


They could make this quite interesting by simply offering Stern on one service and not the other, or putting him on XM and charging for Best of XM on Sirius, etc. I'm not so sure that's a wise idea (because it could just piss off a ton of customers and they'd leave instead), but I think we agree that there is a 'make money' slant on this business and it's at the expense of existing customers. The music licensing fee is definitely indicative of that.
They aren't there yet to push the issue with subscribers because they need to get financially sound. Once this happens and the solidify themselves and also if they get a lot of new subscribers via this Skydock and potentially like equipment they aren't going to worry so much about alienating some subscribers to make this happen. Again you do this over time with a clear plan, this way you disrupt and piss off as few as possible.
 

Jon

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I don't see another portable happening. New PNP's with the complete service, and working on getting the OEM market to get both services at once, or barring that, merging the two spectrums. I do see XM bringing their app and 'Skydock capabilities' to other devices like Windows Mobile, BB, etc. Those who still want a PNP, which will be the closest thing to a portable, will still have it. Those who want XM in their car will still have it. Those who want portability will find it on their smart phone.
 

drdroo

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This is just one more reason why I don't see them fixing the SL2, but hopefully they can work out something with Dell for the Zing division to fix the issues. I'd still not hold my breath!
We'll have to wait and see. Unfortunately there aren't enough customers to create a class action. It might actually be warranted in this case since software updates to fix bugs is an assumed thing.

I'm not a fan of class actions in general because I don't think it really helps anyone but lawyers anyway but.

This was purely for the FCC to gain approval!
I haven't seen a XM alacarte option. Why wasn't there a requirement for XM?

There is no doubt you'll have folk hold on to equipment forever. However, this is at some point going to be an issue that will face them. So, you either slowly push and nudge folks in one direction or the other over time so that when you finally have to make the decision, you only have a small amount of customers to deal with.
We shouldn't have to nudge anyone. We offer solutions for both services, Coke or Pepsi. If SiriusXM doesn't want us to sell for one service or the other, they should stop allowing activations on the one they don't care about. Of course, they should also buy back our left-over radio stock if they intend to do that.

I just don't see that happening however. They have a choice really. They can either make money using the satellites, which are already up there (the big expensive cost) or they can have them floating around in the sky. Makes more sense to make money.

Also don't forget they're not merged in Canada either.

They aren't there yet to push the issue with subscribers because they need to get financially sound. Once this happens and the solidify themselves and also if they get a lot of new subscribers via this Skydock and potentially like equipment they aren't going to worry so much about alienating some subscribers to make this happen. Again you do this over time with a clear plan, this way you disrupt and piss off as few as possible.
If they keep waiting, they will have more potential for those pissed off customers to be distracted by a multitude of other options that aren't Satellite Radio instead of buying new hardware and switching services.
 

drdroo

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I do see XM bringing their app and 'Skydock capabilities' to other devices like Windows Mobile, BB, etc.
I don't see this happening. Too many form factors to consider and too many hardware variations. The only reason iPod and iPhone work is because they have similar form factors and interfaces. At best I'd expect a streaming app over WiFi and cellular, which XM already has for Blackberry and there are third party options for most other OSes.
 

Jon

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I don't see this happening. Too many form factors to consider and too many hardware variations. The only reason iPod and iPhone work is because they have similar form factors and interfaces. At best I'd expect a streaming app over WiFi and cellular, which XM already has for Blackberry and there are third party options for most other OSes.
Then they would have to make the whole service available on their respective apps. Since they couldn't do it for the iPhone, I don't see it for any other service without an accessory. Unless they render the Skydock obsolete by allowing every channel on the XM iPhone app to make it even.
 

drdroo

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Then they would have to make the whole service available on their respective apps. Since they couldn't do it for the iPhone, I don't see it for any other service without an accessory. Unless they render the Skydock obsolete by allowing every channel on the XM iPhone app to make it even.
The big problem is that the XM iPhone app doesn't offer Howard 100/101, which is a huge piece of content for SiriusXM. If they did, then I think the Skydock would have even less relevance. However, the software community will provide and it can be done with SIR and Pockettunes.

However, offering the 'full service' would, as you mentioned, require hardware. A company that has yet to turn a profit is not going to spend hundreds of thousands to create a product for each possible Smartphone category, especially when many of these devices cannot act as a USB host. Truth of the matter is, most of the non-iPhone or iPod Touch community are not mounting their smartphone to their vehicle or have a desire to do so. Most of the Blackberry install base doesn't even have touchscreen, which would be a great fun hazard when going down the road to change the channel.
 

Jon

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Truth of the matter is, most of the non-iPhone or iPod Touch community are not mounting their smartphone to their vehicle or have a desire to do so.
Which must be why the Slacker Blackberry app has over a million downloads, as well as the Pandora app. EDIT: 4 million since the blackberry app was released, and 35 percent of new registrants are Blackberry owners. I'd say (and a little research goes a long way) that the exact opposite is true.

When Research In Motion (RIMM) decided to make its BlackBerry phones less corporate and more entertainment-oriented, it tapped Slacker as its first music app, over powerhouse rival Pandora.
The explosive growth of mobile has paid off handsomely for Slacker, which originally tried marketing its own portable media player, the $199 Slacker G2, with little success. About 35% of new Slacker registrants each day are BlackBerry owners. Slacker has 10 million listeners, up from 6 million when it launched with BlackBerry in January.
Slacker radio app lets users create stations on BlackBerrys - USATODAY.com


Most of the Blackberry install base doesn't even have touchscreen, which would be a great fun hazard when going down the road to change the channel.
Much the same as your average SiriusXM PNP. And about the same screen size. You can try denying the evolution of technology all you like, that doesn't make it correct.