Is Sirius XM’s Lynx A Game Changer?
Sirius XM Satellite Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI) is launching a few new retail products in conjunction with their Satellite Radio 2.0 launch. The company has not delivered new retail products in quite some time, so there is some excitement for SIRI investors relating to the prospects of a new product launch. The question is whether or not these new radio’s will be a game changer for Sirius XM?
The simple answer is that no, these new retail offerings, such as the Lynx will not change the dynamics of the satellite radio business. However, they do have capabilities that core satellite radio fans will be attracted to. If you have followed this site for any length of time you will be aware that while I am a fan and investor of satellite radio, I do not tend to blow smoke. I call things the way they are, not they way I wish they would be.
First things first. The lynx does offer a new form factor, and new operating system (based on Android). These should be welcomed changes for satellite radio fans. The downside is that the concept of the Lynx is not that far removed from the Sirius S50 that hit retail shelves about 5 years ago.
If you recall, the S50 was not a wearable satellite radio per-se. Instead, it recorded content for you, allowed you to “love” and save songs, and could be used as a sort of MP3 player. If you wanted satellite radio on the go, you had to purchase specialized headphones that included a satellite radio antenna. In a car or home dock the S50 was satellite capable because the dock was connected to an antenna.
This is how the new Lynx will work. If you are looking for it to deliver satellite content on the go (wearable), then you will be disappointed. Simply stated, the technology is not there to make a wearable satellite radio very viable at this point. It is one of the main reasons why I believe that we will not see a iPhone with satellite radio any time soon. Satellite radio is simply not conducive as a wearable device.
If I was a new consumer faced with a choice of The Sirius XM Lynx or an iPod Touch, I believe the choice to be quite simple. The iPod Touch is far more capable. An iPod Touch (utilizing Sirius XM’s SkyDock app) combined with a Skydock is a much more useful system than the Sirius XM Lynx. Further, the app can be updated to offer almost anything that the Lynx can do.
Lynx will feature:
- Revolutionary SiriusXM PowerConnect™ FM Transmitter works through your vehicle’s radio with easy Do-It Yourself Installation. The color-coded Vehicle Dock makes it simple to connect.
- Customize your display by choosing the backlight color theme that matches your mood or vehicle dash lights.
- Personalize your radio by choosing the trim ring that reflects your taste or complements your vehicle interior.
- View artist name, song title, and channel information on the large color display.
- Browse programs, artists, and songs playing on other channels without having to change the channel.
- One-Touch Jump™ to traffic and weather of the 20 most congested cities, or to the previous channel to which you
- Save and enjoy fast access to your favorite channels.
- Lock and unlock channels with easy-to-use parental controls.
- Complete PowerConnect Vehicle Kit included.
- Universal docking capability – add accessories for your home, office, additional vehicles or even outdoors.
- Connectivity could be achieved via Satellite, WiFi, Bluetooth & USB.
The possible game changer with Sirius XM is not so much the new retail hardware, but rather the new capabilities offered by satellite radio 2.0. As long as Sirius XM makes these capabilities available through their apps on smartphones and iPods, I see many opting for an iPod/smartphone option over the Lynx.
For those that are already using retail hardware the lynx is a great upgrade, and can help invigorate a lackluster retail channel.
Position – Long Sirius XM
Do you think they’ll upgrade the SkyDock to be able to receive the new 2.0 channels? I’d like to think a firmware upgrade could allow it, but it might require a whole new chip.
intergration, simplicity and a streamlined operation. no more sirius or xm to confuse consumer. 1st step in a new era of radios with unparalelled content. i really admire your work and this website but you can be such a buzzkill sometimes.
Would you rather have me tell it like it is or build this radio up to something it is not? This radio does nothing for unifying the platform. There will still be sirius or xm.
Simply stated, this is an S50 with a new form factor and new operating system. A few new features, but not a game changer
Seems to me that this “love” button will hurt i-tunes.
I would like to see Sirius make songs available through it’s website for download via internet for play on the Lynx – maybe for a few cents per song.
I don’t see why there couldn’t be a Sirius-pod to compete with the i-pod. Make the downloads cheaper than Apple.
If a competent company like Microsoft, Amazon, or Google can’t pull this off, how in heaven’s name would you expect Sirius XM to have any hope? Beyond the technical and regulatory hurdles, no artists or labels are offering songs for “a few cents a song”…
Spencer this is what we know already, I am sure there are other unknown features which will be introduced during the earnings call to create an X factor buzz!
Tom I am actually familiar with the radio and there’s not much the test radios for the ladt more to it. also familiar with the new channels being offered as they have been broadcasting them to test radios for the ladt for the last few weeks
are you typing the reply’s with your elbows or having a stroke?
Kidding aside, I don’t see anything about this unit that would make me go out and get one to replace a already working Stiletto I have. That also makes me wonder who will be inspired by this unit that doesn’t have Sat radio to now make the leap. The unit is a very sharp looking piece of hardware but it appears to be the WTF moment I expected for the 2.0 release.
One thing that has always disappointed me about my Stiletto though is that you can’t tag songs or bands so you are alerted when they are playing on another channel. My first JVC unit did that 7 years ago but the Stiletto does not. I never understood why. That feature was awesome. It was great to hear the cheap and you would get excited to look down to see what one of your favorite songs was playing. I do miss that in my Stiletto. Does anyone know why that feature was not put on the Stiletto and if it will be on the Lynx?
The SiriusXM 2.0 Platform is the game changer. Being able to purchase music, pause, rw, ff, start now, create a playlist, receive 20+ more channels (including Spanish suite), time shift up to 5 hours (ip), view album art and artist bio, use program guide etc -being built in to the car is huge… With music on-demand and talk on-demand (ip) coming early next year and “personalization” (ip) soon after we will level the playing field. And having the Android based platform, along w/ the WiFi & Bluetooth we will be able to upgrade it going forward to keep us competitive.
With 2.0 I’m not really sure if you will need to listen to Slacker or Pandora next year. We have the best content, the best talent, best nationwide coverage, ease of use and essentially offer what they offer and then some.
You have no idea what all of the features are going to be. You make no mention of wifi and bluetooth, SD support. I think this is a true game changer and will be purchasing one asap. Over time, why would I even need to steam Pandora when all of the songs I like and prefer to listen to are already on my preferred radio platform.
Actually I am well aware of the feature set and have been for a while through the scuttlebutt grapevine.
You say that I made no mention of Wifi, Bluetooth, or SD. Clearly you did not read the article. All were in the specs of the Lynx that I listed.
I am curious as to why you think this is a “game changer”. What is it about this device that you consider a game changer? Saving songs, caching songs, loving songs, were all functions that were offered on the 2005 S50.
There are a few things that would appeal to core fans that are already subscribers, but I do not see this piece of hardware being a driver of new subscriptions
I still have/use an S50 (car and home executive doc). Had to have it replaced under warranty a couple times, then it finally died about a year ago…but SIRI had a refurb in their clearance section for $75, and I picked it up. I love the thing! I’ve got tons of songs “loved” on it that I listen to when I can’t find anything on. When I go out of town, I set it to record Howard for the week. I can pause a live feed for almost an hour, then skip through commercials. It’s great!! It tells me when my fav teams (College football, NFL, College BBall) are playing…what’s not to like?!? Reading the specs on the Lynx, it reads just like the S50 did back in ’05 when I got it! I’m excited for 2.0…but it there is nothing new for the radio…why upgrade unless you have to?
Why doesn’t Sirius work with a company like Archos and have them design mp3players and tablets????
It sounds like a HUGE loss to me. It seems as though Karmazin is just completly out of touch with the tech age once again.
There’s been so much hype surrounding 2.0 and to have it turned into another expensive paper weight just shows that in order for SIRIXM to survive they are in dire need of new leadership
They should have no one over the age of 30 in R&D. I bet that it is just the opposite. What a complete let down this is, as was anticipated. Unless, for some unknown reason(unlikely)they are holding back on some new fangled device(s) with other wow factor possiblities. Just so typical and pathetic. Fire everyone born before 1980. OLT: What do you think the average age is of a Sirius/XM employee is compared to that of Spotify/Pandora/etc. Such a waste of potential.
Talk about over-hyped and under delivered, 2 years of hype about satrad 2.0 and karmazin comes up with a radio that plays latin music? IMHO the only way siriusxm will survive is with a new group in charge this is as big of a flop as karmazins idea of backseat tv for kids with 3 cartoon channels.
With steve jobs he knew what the people wanted, 1 ease of use 2 something to make everyday life easier more enjoyable and more productive. and 3 people want to communicate with other people which is what you get with all the apple products and something new every quarter it seems, Millions of people line up to spend $400 plus for a new apple product ? And karmazins idea is an old time radio? unbelievable really, and quite sad and pathetic
I completely agree, but really is the chances of a karmazin ouster. Nobody seems to be forward thinking enough.
siriusxm would have been better off buying Pandora rather then wasting the share holders money on another huge flop otherwise known as the 2.0 fiasco
Many of the features are a benefit to true fans of siriusxm, even though it is too little too late. This is not new technology. I believe that new subs coming in based on this will be very minimal at best. However, if this is a missed opportunity, then what new technology should the company be offering. What direction should they be heading? I have been an xm subscriber since 2004 and it always seemed that the company (even post merger) has been unable to capitalize on the new things out there.
I don’t understand how you can say that the iPod touch is better than the lynx. If the lynx is like the s50 and Stiletto line, and we can record content to listen to later on when on the go, that beats the iPod touch. This enables you to have satellite content anywhere. I’d agree it’s not much of an improvement over the s50 but if it’s a better and reliable device how can you compare that to the touch at all? Take a touch on a train, in an office building or out for running and you have absolutely no access to satellite, live or recorded.
Great post…It’s about time SiriusXM gets a facelift
Really wish the skydock gets one too. It’s been way past due.
can you tell me what is better the stilleto 2 or the new lynx? my stilleto 2 was stolen so i cant decide to get that or wait for the lynx.
also is the lynx compatible with the stilleto 2 vehicle kit?
PS.. i saw the extra channels offered and didnt care about having those.
The Lynx will record your favorite five channels at once automatically. I agree that having the recording feature is an advantage over the Ipod Touch. SD Card compatibility like the Stilletto 2.
The Lynx will also be able via WiFi to have “On Demand” capability. Join a program late and you can go to the beginning.
The Lynx will have artist and song notifications.