Satellite radio service company Sirius XM Radio debuted a device that turns Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch digital music player into a receiver for satellite radio signals.
The Sirius XM SkyDock, which the company said will retail for $120 when it launches in the fall, acts as a dock by plugging into the base of the device, providing power as well as linking it to Sirius XM's satellite radio signal. The company noted, however, that although the device has been granted preliminary approval by the Federal Communications Commission, it is still undergoing evaluation by the FCC.
Other features include the ability to switch between portrait and landscape mode as well as the ability to "tag" a song that's playing on the radio and purchase it later through the iTunes music store. The SkyDock also allows users to stream audio either through line-out (used for a connection between audio sources to an amplifier or recording device) or via Sirius XM's PowerConnect system, which works directly through the existing vehicle power system to offer do-it-yourself installation with reduced wires and connections.
"XM SkyDock will allow millions of users to add live Sirius XM Radio capability to their iPod Touch or iPhone while in their vehicle," said Bob Law, Sirius XM Radio's group vice president and general manager for the aftermarket division. "XM SkyDock makes their favorite programming from XM and -The Best of Sirius' available to iPod Touch and iPhone users anywhere they drive, coast to coast."
Other features include game alerts and artist and song alerts, and a sports and a stock ticker. An Aux In Cable is a standard in-box accessory to facilitate Aux In connections in vehicles with Aux In capability. Accessories include Magnetic Mount Antenna and spacers to accommodate the various iPod Touch and iPhone product generations. The company said the SkyDock is compatible with iPod Touch (first and second generations), iPhone, iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. All models require iPhone OS 3.0 or later.
The SkyDock expands the company's relationship with Apple, as Sirius XM announced in June the release of an iPhone application that serves as a mobile extension of a user's paid satellite radio service. The application, which allows users to access more than 120 channels, comes with a seven-day free trial, at which point a prospective user must subscribe to keep listening. However, the mobile application does not feature Howard Stern as part of the accessible lineup, though Sirius XM made the Howard Stern Show available to iPhone and iPod Touch users as a free download from the iTunes store.