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Old 10-21-2004, 11:40 PM   #1
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Default XM - New Wearable Device?

XM radio seen launching 'wearable' device-analyst


Thu Oct 21, 2004 08:59 PM ET
By Sue Zeidler

LOS ANGELES, Oct 21 (Reuters) - XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc (XMSR.O: Quote, Profile, Research) next week is expected to unveil a "wearable" device, marking the satellite radio industry leader's latest effort to woo audiences to the nascent format, analysts said.

A spokesman for Washington, D.C.-based XM declined to comment beyond saying a major product announcement was planned for Oct. 26 in New York with automotive parts and consumer electronics products maker, Delphi Corp. (DPH.N: Quote, Profile, Research)

"XMSR is also likely to announce its wearable device next week. There is a good shot this 'Walkman' type device, in the near term, will differentiate XM's hardware from Sirius," a rival satellite radio system, said Kit Spring, analyst with Stifel, Nicolaus in a note for investors.

He said such a device would "also get investors thinking about future combinations of IPOD/TIVO-like satellite radios, which would increase the value of the monthly subscription."

A radio industry executive said the device was believed to be a satellite-radio receiver with headphones that also had a hard drive enabling users to download XM content.

Spring could not be immediately reached for comment.

Delphi has already partnered with XM for such products as the XM SKYFi satellite radio. Since introducing it in 2002, the company has shipped over 750,000 of the portable units.

XM rival Sirius Satellite Radio Inc (SIRI.O: Quote, Profile, Research) has said it expects to roll out wearable products in late summer 2005.

The new "wearable device" by XM could bolster increasing investor sentiment about the business prospects for satellite radio, although some analysts cautioned that both rivals are investing heavily in a bid to attract a mass audience.

Earlier this month, Sirius reached a five-year, $500 million deal with shock jock Howard Stern to bring his popular program to the company's line-up in a bid to narrow the gap with XM.

XM responded this week by signing a $650 million deal to broadcast Major League Baseball games for 11 years.

XM Satellite has about 2.5 million subscribers. Sirius' subscriber base has exceeded 700,000 and the company said it remains on track for 1 million subscribers by the end of the year.
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Old 10-22-2004, 01:08 AM   #2
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I just purchased the Xact Power Pod and took it out for a spin. Just put it in my fanny pack and took a walk. Worked pretty well with just a couple dropouts. The wearable concept will definitely be a big deal for Satellite radio.

I suspect that XM will be announcing the power pod for the Roady2.
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Old 10-22-2004, 01:35 AM   #3
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I actually think XM is going to not only announce a power pack for the Roady2, but there is also this mysterious MyFi that is coming out and I think that is the REAL wearable device, which will include a home and car kit for it. SRP $359.00 at least according to BB.

If that is the case, this is virtually going to give XM'ers a choice of wearable devices. One will just be a small investment for the power pack for the Roady2 and the other for someone looking to get a wearable that is also useable in the home and car, which will be the Myfi.

I have the Xact Pod too and its really not a wearable by any stretch of the imagination. But it is useable in going for walks, sitting outdoors relaxing, taking it to out door sporting events etc.

XM is fixing to ratchet it up a notch there is no doubt about it.
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Old 10-22-2004, 01:50 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAB
I actually think XM is going to not only announce a power pack for the Roady2, but there is also this mysterious MyFi that is coming out and I think that is the REAL wearable device, which will include a home and car kit for it. SRP $359.00 at least according to BB.
Has anyone seen one of these yet? I have seen pictures of a Roady Power Pod that they are working on. Could the MiFi just be a Roady2 with a power pack with home and car kit all bundled together?
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Old 10-22-2004, 01:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAB
I have the Xact Pod too and its really not a wearable by any stretch of the imagination. But it is useable in going for walks, sitting outdoors relaxing, taking it to out door sporting events etc.
I put it in a fanny pack and it was wearable and worked quite well, and looked as good as a fanny pack looks
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Old 10-22-2004, 01:57 AM   #6
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From XMFAN: Speaking about the MyFi....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan
just to clarify now that the cat's out of the bag. This is a very cool device that was set to debut in December, but I honestly think it wont make it's debut until CES 2005.

This is NOT the Roady wearable. This is another unit altogether. Not only is it portable, it will have home and vehicle kits so you can take it with you everywhere. It will also feature a "pause and record" function similar to the SkyFi.

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Old 10-22-2004, 02:01 AM   #7
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If it's not coming out until CES, why would they be announcing it so soon? This does sound interesting. $359 does seem pretty expensive though.

If it turns out to be a pre-announcement with availability early next year, then I would say this was to upstage Sirius having a semi-wearable with the Xact Power pod.

It is generally a very bad thing to announce a product before Christmas that won't be out in time for Christmas (unless worried by competitive pressure), so I suspect they will be shipping them this year.
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Old 10-22-2004, 02:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manco
I put it in a fanny pack and it was wearable and worked quite well, and looked as good as a fanny pack looks
You can put anything in a fanny pack, but that doesn't make the device itself wearable. A wearable in my opinion doesn't require anything else its a fully self contained unit that has a built in belt click or other means of attaching it to your clothing.

There are some big fanny packs out there I can put a motorcycle battery in one, but that doesn't make it a wearable.

But I do understand what you are saying of course and I like the term semi-wearable and may end up doing something like that with mine. But in my area if that antenna doesn't have line of sight to the sky.. you can forget it.

But you can bet XM is trying to take as much steam from SIRIUS as possible.. they never use to announce new equipment until it was heading to the store shelves as I recall.
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Old 10-22-2004, 08:07 AM   #9
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I agree with Dab -- XM usually doesn't announce things at press conferences if they aren't coming out soon. The timing does seem right for the holiday season. I think a truly wearable device -- not a "pod" to carry a car unit in -- would be a great step for satellite radio. One will have to be first with it, which raises the bar on the other company to make it better. We will see next week.
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Old 10-22-2004, 12:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAB

But I do understand what you are saying of course and I like the term semi-wearable and may end up doing something like that with mine. But in my area if that antenna doesn't have line of sight to the sky.. you can forget it.

I think this is XMs biggest competitive advantage in the wearable areana. XM has so many repeaters that they will have much better reception than Sirius in the wearable market. Of course this is only in the markets served by XM terrestrial repeaters but that is a lot of markets.
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Old 10-23-2004, 12:40 AM   #11
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I just read the reuters report linked from slashdot. Apparently XM has some ipod/xm tivo wearable device. Now hardware like that would be pretty enticing.
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Old 10-23-2004, 02:32 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fw190
I just read the reuters report linked from slashdot. Apparently XM has some ipod/xm tivo wearable device. Now hardware like that would be pretty enticing.
hardware like that would be enticing....with one requirement....

1) the content would have to be Sirius not XM
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Old 10-23-2004, 03:38 AM   #13
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$359 IT better do everything at that price!
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Old 10-23-2004, 09:25 AM   #14
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If it does all those things and includes car and home kits, the price is pretty decent. I wonder if you can add your own MP3s to it like an iPod. That would be VERY cool. I also wonder how the battery life is running a satellite chip.
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Old 10-23-2004, 10:04 AM   #15
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battery life


J.P. Morgan-research:

.... Wearable Roadmap/SAC Scenario
A wearable satellite radio/MP3 player looks likely either by Christmas or
early 2005, based on the new Gen3 chip set. At this point, XM has engineered the battery so it lasts a full day, and execs are happy with the product form factor. Antenna designs are being reviewed, but acceptable options are apparently on the table. We believe the introductory device is likely to a be a plug and play that can be worn, or plugged into a car or home stereo. It would hold MP3s, and likely, we believe, allow recording of full songs heard over the air....
 
 
 
 

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