I just saw this rumor that Apple might be teaming up with Sirius to add satellite reception into new iPods.
Now to me, this seems a little strange, since XM Radio already has an iPod-like receiver, and to me seems to be more ‘Apple-like’ than Sirius. XM’s music is a more eclectic mix, while Sirius seems to play more pop music geared towards a younger audience (Eminem even has his own show on Sirius). Apple has in the past aligned themselves with the older geek chic crowd (U2 iPod, anyone?) rather than the young pop loving crowd. Or maybe I’m just giving U2 more credit than they deserve, and they are nothing more than a gateway for Apple to get out of their geek cult status and into the pop culture arena.
There’s also a ton of other reasons why we probably won’t see satellite radio (either flavor) in iPods anytime soon:
- Apple won’t do anything to make the iPod bigger. Have you seen portable satellite radios? They are huge.
- Recording. XM just released a little portable player that has a Tivo-like feature, but right now there is no way to get those recordings off of the player. If you could record radio onto your iPod hackers would surely find a quick and easy way to take those recordings off, which makes the RIAA very angry. Without recording capabilities, why bog down your iPod with a service that most users won’t even pay to use?
- You have to pay for satellite radio. Will Apple really bundle a feature you have to pay for with something like the iPod? Maybe if Apple got a cut of the profits, or owned the service (like .mac)
So unless there is some major announcement from Sirius that includes a very tiny new portable player, I don’t see iPods with satellite reception any time soon.
UPDATE (02-09-2005): Apple says ‘hell no’ to putting a satellite radio in their box.