The Mac Observer

Skip navigational links

You're viewing an article in TMO's historic archive vault. Here, we've preserved the comments and how the site looked along with the article. Use this link to view the article on our current site:
XM Squelches Combo-iPod Rumors; Leaves Door Open

Only on TMO - XM Squelches Combo-iPod Rumors; Leaves Door Open

by , 10:50 AM EST, January 7th, 2005

LAS VEGAS, NV -- XM Satellite Radio has had discussions about a combination portable media device and XM receiver with a number of major manufacturers, including Apple, but no formal partnership has been formed and there are no plans for an imminent announcement, the company has told The Mac Observer.

XM Director of Product Marketing, Phil Whitworth said that while the company is very interested in developing a MP3-like device that includes XM's service, it is not as high of a priority right now compared to expanding its reach into home entertainment devices, such as stereo systems and alike.

"Generally, are current focus is on home entertainment," Mr. Whitworth told TMO. "We working with a number of companies to make sure XM technology is embedded in home stereo systems, boomboxes, and more."

Mr. Whitworth said XM has talked to a number of major players in the digital media device market, such as Apple and Microsoft, but said, "they have no been active discussions. They have been more along the lines of introducing our technology and discussions of possible ways of bringing a digital music player together with XM's service."

Chance Patterson, XM company spokesman, cautioned that talks with Apple do not mean an agreement for a iPod-like product with XM service built in is a done deal.

"We talk with a lot of companies," Mr. Patterson said. "That doesn't mean they have committed to building in our chip or our service. That doesn't mean it couldn't happen in the future, but it doesn't mean it's happening sometime soon. We have no imminent announcement."

This week at the International Consumer Electronics Show, XM is aggressively pushing its "Connect-and-Play" technology. For a low relative incremental cost, manufacturers of popular consumer electronics products are being enticed to add a small circuit the size of a fingernail to their products that would add XM service. Many company's have already bit at the chance, including Grundig with its Grundig Satellite 900 portable radio (see photo below), Pioneer, Denon, GPX, Eton and Thomson/RCA.

While the current push is to get XM into more traditional radio devices, Mr. Whitworth emphasized that working with digital media device makers will be more of a focus in 2005 and beyond.

"There is no reason why we can't embed the XM 'Connect-and-Play' technology into MP3 players, like the iPod," he said. "There are no limitations to making XM technology a part of small, digital media products. We're excited about exploring those possibilities with manufacturers and those discussions are on-going."

Shortwave radio maker Grundig announced the Satellite 900
at CES this week that includes XM Satellite Radio access.
(Click the image for a larger version)

Emphasizing again the push to get XM technology into home entertainment products, Mr. Whitworth said it's too early to say when and with whom XM could partner with on a portable device like an iPod, iRiver, RCA or Samsung player.

"We can't leap ahead of ourselves," Mr. Whitworth commented. "It's too early to set a time line on a XM ending up in digital devices, but it's on our radar."

XM is the only satellite radio provider to currently offer a handheld receiver, in the form of the XM2go, which retails for US$349.99. It's competitor, Sirius does not currently offer a handheld satellite receiver.

An apple spokesperson did not return repeated phone calls from TMO for comment. Apple's standard policy has been to not comment on unannounced products.

Recent Headlines - Updated November 26th

Mon,12:40 PM
Three Ways to Protect your Apple Watch (and One Way Not To)
Thu,10:32 AM
Happy Thanksgiving from The Mac Observer!
Wed,7:53 PM
Awaken the Force with these Free Star Wars Apps
5:28 PM
How to Pair Bluetooth Headphones with Your Apple TV
4:40 PM
Pay What You Want for the Learn to Code Bundle
4:27 PM
ACM 334: Apple’s Mac Pro vs. The Devil’s Advocate
4:20 PM
Apple is Doing Something That Could Accidentally Torpedo the iPad Pro
2:08 PM
Sponsor: New MacX DVD Ripper Pro Giveaway
1:40 PM
TMO Daily Observations 2015-11-25: Apple’s Plans for Faceshift
1:32 PM
Apple Commercial: Someday At Christmas - Stevie Wonder + Andra Day (Video)
9:58 AM
Apple Buys Star Wars-related Facial Recognition Company Faceshift
9:01 AM
iOS 9: Using Mail Markup with Photos
  • __________
  • Buy Stuff, Support TMO!
  • Podcast: Mac Geek Gab
  • Podcast: Apple Weekly Report
  • TMO on Twitter!