Sirius and XM radio will be making their way to the iPhone 2.0 firmware via Millard Software’s jailbroken apps, uSirius and uXM. Although the applications haven’t been prepped for the new firmware yet, the developer says they are soon to come. The apps will run on all jailbroken iPhones (original and 3G) that run 2.0 software. For those of you still running 1.1.4 and lower, go to the developer’s site to download the apps. A Sirius or XM subscription is required.
Continue reading for information regarding official Sirius/XM apps for the App Store.
Sirius and XM, the two big (and only) names in satellite radio, have both had their share of ups and downs. Sirius, for one, has had great success by acquiring Howard Stern for a 5 year contract, who brought in millions of new listeners (approximately 9M). XM has struck deals with a handful of car manufacturers to provide built in XM tuners and has overall acquired a hefty subsriber base. Unfortunately, these companies are still both yet to succeed.
In 2007, Sirius reported a net income of US$ -565.25M, while XM reported a net income of US$ -682.38M. Both companies are hanging on by a thread. Their last hope, however, is a merger. A merger which has become nothing more than a mockery. It took the Department of Justice 16 months to announce that the merger "does not break the Sherman Anti-Trust Law and is not a monopoly". The FCC, however, is still yet to approve the merger. Oil companies merge five times faster than the Sirius/XM merger has already taken.
Howard Stern himself said, "Calling Sirius and XM a monopoly is the same as calling the Apple iPhone a monopoly because it doesn’t come equipped with a BlackBerry." In other words, the satellite radio companies don’t monopolize the industry, but rather they bring more competition to the in-car entertainment market which terrestrial radio, CD’s, and iPods are all part of.
Update: There has just been a bit of breaking news regarding the Sirius/XM merger. Johnathan Adelstein, the FCC commissioner, has just voted nay on the merger. This brings the vote to a 50/50 deadlock, with one voter left: Deborah Taylor Tate (R). She’s expected to vote in favor of the merger. [as of 4:14 PM July 23rd via Wall Street Journal]
But regardless of their business statuses, one thing remains: they provide great content. And more importantly, it comes conveniently packaged as digital audio from a galaxy far, far away. And what does that mean? That means there are multiple ways of tuning in.
Originally, satellite radio started out as an in-car only service. Now, however, with devices like the Sirius Stilleto on the market, you can stream satellite radio in a portable manner: via WiFi or via special headphones with a satellite receiver.
Although WiFi streaming is great, nobody wants to carry around yet another device (especially since the Sirius Stilleto is quite bulky). And the alternative, wearing special headphones, is almost a joke: the headphones are made of hard plastic with a thick over-head strap with a built in satellite receiver. Not only is it uncomfortable, but it’s probably not very safe.
So, what’s the solution? The Apple iPhone. It’s one of the fastest growing devices in the mobile phone market (1M+ iPhone 3G’s sold in the first weekend worldwide), and it has the ability to host a Sirius/XM receiver via WiFi/3G/EDGE.
That being said, it comes as a bit of a shock that neither Sirius or XM have a native application in the App Store. Are they worried that allowing users to stream their radio broadcast directly to their iPhones will contend with the sales of their own portable players? Perhaps…but think of the untapped market both companies will be accessing via the iPhone.
With the advantage of 3G, Sirius and XM will literally have the ability to allow users to listen to their broadcasts anywhere (without having to wear funny looking headphones and be outdoors while staying away from tall trees and buildings).
Having a Sirius and/or XM service on the iPhone would greatly increase the subscriber base for both companies – even if they decide to charge an additional "iPhone Subscription Fee".
But since neither company has yet realized the extraordinary opportunity they’re missing by not embracing the iPhone App Store – we satellite radio junkies are going to have to resort to the ugly: uSirius and uXM by Millard Software for jailbroken iPhones. And like I mentioned way up top: it’s soon going to be available for firmware 2.0.