My local Radio Shack Store has a new SIRIUS display and some new inventory. The display consists of a framed poster featuring SIRIUS with the best of XM. New inventory includes new boom boxes that will work with the Starmate 5 and other units. The only new radio they offer is the Starmate 5. There are small (newly affixed - added on) stickers on the Starmate 5 boxes that proclaim: ala carte ready.

SIRIUS is not pitching a la carte programming. SIRIUS is pitching best of. If you want a la carte, you pretty much have to know about it yourself and educate the salespeople about it. After doing just that, they busted out the Starmate 5. They had no home docking hardware available currently, except for the new boombox. The old boombox is marked down to $79.95. It will not work with the Starmate 5. The new boombox that will is priced at $99.95.

SIRIUS, wisely or unwisely wants to exhaust old inventory before promoting the new stuff. I'm just guessing when I say that there must be half a million old units (non-starmate 5) to unload. Starmate 5 is the only radio that Radio Shack offers that is a la carte ready.

I am still anticipating at some point soon that we will see a promotion featuring free radios. Purely guessing, but if economic gloom and doom persists as it seems to be doing, it would be a boon to SIRIUS to give away radios with paid subscription plans. For example, sell a six months plan for $49.95 with a free radio for a Christmas special.

Customers would jump on that like white on rice. The'y have a tangible gift item for under the tree and a paid sub.