Blogger predicts summer death of satellite radio


Computerworld blogger Mike Elgan bases his “mercy killing of Sirius XM” on rumors that the next generation of Apple’s iPhone will include both advanced streaming abilities and an FM radio chip. The latter would not only allow for radio reception on iPhones, but also let users transmit music or Internet streams to the FM receiver of their car stereo system.

This falls under the category of blogging about blog rumors. However, the tech bloggers generally have a good handle on what is going on with iPhone development. It appears that the AppleInsider blog was the first to figure out that a particular Broadcom chip is referenced in the code for the next generation of iPhones and iPods. If that chip is included it would give the devices the FM transmit/receive capabilities, along with upgrading the Wi-Fi capability to improve streaming.

So, why does Elgan think that will kill-off satellite radio?

“The satellite radio proposition has always been that you get superior radio, but you have to pay a lot for it. Changes in the iPhone mean that the best ‘radio’ experience will be via iPhone, and at no additional charge beyond what you’re going to pay for the phone and data anyway,” he wrote. Here’s a link to read Elgan’s entire blog entry.

When last we checked, there were over 140 comments on his blog, most from satellite radio fans who say he’s full of beans.

RBR/TVBR observation: That death prediction for Sirius XM may be a stretch. Not everyone in the market for a new car in the second half of this year will have previously acquired the latest version of iPhone. And even some of the folks who rush out to buy every new tech gadget will still hold onto a Sirius or XM subscription for Howard Stern, a sports package, or some other unique content. But FM in iPhones would be a major plus for traditional broadcasters. Sure, some people will use the two-way FM capability to play their own music library or an Internet audio stream on their car radio. But some of those streams are going to come from AM and FM broadcast stations. More importantly, iPhone users will be carrying around an FM receiver that allows them to listen to local radio personalities and get local news, weather and traffic whenever, wherever. Also, they’ll have access to local emergency information when the wireless infrastructure for their iPhone is knocked out by a natural disaster.