Sirius XM Radio already offers the SkyDock for iPhones and the iPod Touch. Over the past year Sirius XM developed an app for the Blackberry, and an Android app is expected any day now. With three of the five major platforms covered, the next logical question is whether a SkyDock will be developed for blackberry and Android phones.
There are a few things to consider. First, the SkyDock sales for the Apple line-up have not been as brisk as many would have hoped for. That issue alone could give Sirius XM pause in moving further down that direction with yet another dock. On the flip side, most non-Apple cell phones have transitioned to a micro-USB connection. A common connection simplifies things a bit, but the next issue is how the phone docks.
The most simple solution is often one that is right bin front of you. It would be quite possible for Sirius XM to make a SkyDock with adjustable grips just like the Apple version. The solution for the differing connection port locations can be solved with a small micro-USB wire. Simply dock the phone and plug it in. This solution would satisfy multiple phones with one common dock. No matter which phone you have, a SkyDock such as this would allow you to get the Sirius XM satellite stream directly on your phone. Better still, it would charge the phone as you listen, and we all know that the new smart phones are battery hogs.
The smart phone market is expanding rapidly, and smart phone apps are an avenue not only for subscriber growth, but subscriber retention as well. For a small additional fee, existing subscribers can run the streaming Internet feed directly to their phone, or for standard fees, a non-subscriber can make their phone a satellite radio when accompanied by a SkyDock.
Speculation is fun, as are new gadgets. They have to fit into a business plan though. For Sirius XM that means weighing how important their content is to existing and potential subscribers, and weighing how fast the smart phone market will grow. As a consumer, I would love to see a multi-platform SkyDock for Blackberry and Android. As an investor, I want to be sure that the company does it at the right time. One possible solution is to give three months free with the purchase of a SkyDock and a commitment to nine additional paid months. This promotion could be treated in the same manner as the OEM channel, but unlike the OEM channel, it carries a guarantee of nine self pay months.
Position – Long Sirius XM