XM SkyDock: New photos! More info! Added details! (Oh my!) - Orbitcast

XM SkyDock: New photos! More info! Added details! (Oh my!)

| 29 Comments
UPDATE: Read Orbitcast's full in-depth XM SkyDock review for everything you ever wanted to know about the SkyDock.

XM SkyDock

You saw some up-close-and-personal photos of the XM SkyDock, but here's the fancy professional photos to whet your appetite even further, plus all the details you could ever want our of an iPhone dock.

First off, the XM SkyDock is a real satellite radio, with a real satellite radio subscription and a real XM chipset embedded within the dock. This isn't just an FM modulator for your iPhone with an XM badge.
So since the XM SkyDock has a built-in XM tuner, it needs something to control it, right? That's where the iPhone (or iPod Touch) comes in. The upcoming XM SkyDock App - which will be free - will allow you to control the XM tuner using the iPhone/iPod Touch as the interface.

This means you only need one device in your pocket: your iPhone.

Additionally, you can play any other audio content through the dock. So if you want to listen to your own personal digital music library, or Pandora, or Slacker - you can - including listening to your XM. I'm really glad they did this (contrary to my original suspicions that Sirius XM Radio Inc. wouldn't).

If there's any bit of criticism I'd have, and it's a small one, it's that Sirius XM put the cabash on the XM Mini-Tuner and didn't include the Mini-Tuner for the SkyDock. So it's not possible to literally "take XM with you" - but if you're willing to get the Sirius XM iPhone App, you can almost recreate the experience wherever you go (minus Howard Stern, unfortunately).

What's really impressive is that the SkyDock - as well as many other new satellite radios hitting the streets soon - will use the new PowerConnect FM transmitter. These are simply awesome, and it's patent-pending technology. With the PowerConnect, you just need to plug into your cigarette lighter, and the FM signal is transmitted through the power line. If it works as well as Sirius XM says it will, they've got a huge solution to the previous complicated FM transmitters on the market.

But back to the XM SkyDock.

Since the iPhone/iPod Touch is the interface now, you get all the benefits of Apple's interface technology - in both landscape and portrait modes. All you need is an antenna, and you're good to go.

The SkyDock is compatible with the 1st and 2nd gen iPod Touch, the iPhone, iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. You will need iPhone OS 3.0 or later.

XM SkyDock will MSRP for $119.99 and will be available in the Fall. The XM SkyDock App will be released at the same time.


XM SkyDock

29 Comments

Ryan! Looks great and thanks for the photos and the update! A few things I am hoping you can explain to all of us is: 1) If we already have a XM subscribtion with another radio, can we use this or do we have to purchase another sub? 2) If we the have Best of Sirius package, can we get those stations on the skydock? 3) Is this for only XM people and why not both Sirius and XM? Thanks again Ryan!

I'm really excited about this dock. It makes me want a car just to be able to use it. I hope to see a home dock similar to this if everything works out right.

Looks very promising, but being that it has "XM" guts, it's it safe to assume you're still going to have to run an antenna? That would seem to be the only downfall in my particular case, as I have a factory install.

So it's an XM chip, which means you get XM and, if you pay for it, the Best of Sirius. The wireless FM mod is a killer for me...I'll keep the Commander (aux input) and my hacked iPhone cradle with aux out for iPod and Slacker. It is quite a creative solution for others, however!

I wish they would just merge the services together and get rid of the different packages.

I think this XM skydock is an attempt to prop up XM business.

XM isn't as successful as Sirius for 1 reason: Sirius has all the good stuff and XM is inferior.

All the gadgets in the world aren't going to gain business for XM when people can get Sirius.

Merging all channels into one package would be a much more appealing move for customers.

if they build a gadget WHY in the world would they not do it for BOTH services???

Ryan,

If other Apple apps can be heard over the radio, what about just the incoming voice from the iphone, phone connection.

Also related, is there an accessory that allows one to use the iphone handsfree while docked into the Skydock?

I wonder how many dumb dumbs will buy this . By thee wasy you can get them at tss radio along with pics of tom's midget cock .

my pants feel funny! That's awesome!

I am at the RadioShack dealer Expo 2009 in Texas and Sirius XM is here, and showing us that item. It is VERY cool and they showed us how it works. It is going to be a HUGE seller for us, and it will also be huge for Sirius XM. That new FM Transmitter is also here and proven that it is going to end our issues about poor FM Transmission...thank you Sirius XM for making a wonderul product. Also saw the Stratus 6, which has the new plug/transmitter thing and a new XM radio (forgot the name) that is coming out this fall and will be $79.99...the Stratus 6 also supports A La Carte packages...

Ryan,

I see that the apple store carries the Monster iCarPlay FM transmitter and charger for $99.95.

For an added $20, users can basically have the powerconnect FM modulation technology and an in-car dock/charger... WITH THE ADDED BENEFIT OF AN XM TUNER!

This device will give the end-user choice!

I have only one question. Since this can play any iPhone audio, that would allow it to stream Sirius Internet Radio over 3G or Edge, correct?

There are only 3 pieces missing from this picture for Sirius subscribers -- a Premium Internet Radio Subscription and the iphone app. Howard Stern and the mobile right liscensing is the last.

Sirius will win on all fronts. A blockbuster retail product for the iphone, the best of sirius package, the premium sirius online package and customer satisfaction. Furthermore, I anticipate that the new, patented FM technology, once known, will increase Sirius XM brand recognition. I believe people will buy the dock not necessarily for Sirius XM but will receive the capabilities of an XM Tumer. This is the best-in-class iPhone car dock, period. AWESOME!!! GAME CHANGER!!

Nice idea, and while a bit pricey, having a nicer UI and the ability to listen to other things through it is nice. And I'd assume you could take headphone out->car stero Line In if you have one for better sound?

My one beef is the fact that you're confined to the location of your ciggy lighter. In my truck, I wouldn't be able to see the display, and would be channel surfing with my knee.

If the photos represent accurately how the final version will be (on a stick), how will this be comparable with most cars that have cigarette lighters in odd places? I was expecting a dock that could be mounted high on the dash, capable of seeing the GPS satellites, and having the power cord go from the dock to the cigarette plug. Going by the photos, this will not be practical in any if my vehicles (2 cars and 1 tractor trailer), as I will be unable to see the iPhone screen without looking away from where I am driving!

Agree with the comment on the discontinuation of the mini-tuner. How great would it be to get around the limits of the Iphone app with something you could carry around??

This is a nice thing but not a GREAT thing. If you have an Iphone you want access to everything everywhere. Take the Sling app - pretty much worthless because you have to have Wifi.

Also - no features such as selecttune, pause, etc.

This thing really only works for those -

1) Don't have xm in the car but have an iphone

2) Car renters on vacation, etc who have an iphone

3) Gadget geeks who like the idea of having their Ipod and their XM all in one place in the car.

4) Howard fans that can't figure it out. If you have an aux jack and pocket-tunes app - you really don't need this.

Here's an idea - create a small attachment (looks like an Iphone battery pack) that contains an xm tuner and is rechargeable. Snap it on the bottom of your iphone and you have access to MLB, Howard, etc.

Iphone = portability and this really aint it.

Good move for the company though. Need to get the service as accessible anywhere, anytime as possible.

Is there an antenna? There must be if the Touch can use it. Where does it connect?

Where is the antenna -- there must be one if the Touch can be mounted. I assume that you can choose a channel, then exit the program since the chip in the dock takes over. This allows you to use a GPS program or make calls. Just go back to the XM app to change channels....

This should drive SAC down, but will be dead on arrival. It is a new radio that very few people will get - just like every other radio that XM and Sirius ever introduced to the marketplace before.

Satellite radio is a disruptive technology that got disrupted by other devices - Slacker, Pandora, etc. This seems to have the markings of Stell Patsiokas all over it - but it's the same old thing. Subscribers will continue to fall off the rolls. SiriusXM can't cut their way to profitability.

Look for this to be dumped on XM411 and XMFan sites for $59.99 in short order.

How bout just getting us our XM Music back?
Fuck you Mel and Fuck you Sirius.

"XM isn't as successful as Sirius for 1 reason: Sirius has all the good stuff and XM is inferior."

So that is why i CAN NEVER FIND ANYTHING WORTH LISTENING TOO on the new SIRIUSxm. Thanks for your input on what is good and what is not. Ass. Miss Lee Abrams.

So do i need a cell (iPhone) or wifi (iTouch) signal to get service?

This company will be going out of business soon due to a shitty device like that.

Why can't they just let us have ALL of the stations on the iphone app including MLB, NFL, Howard and The Verge?

Thank god I canceled my overpriced xmro subscription. I'm sticking to last.fm. Better music and best of all NO DJs!

Ryan, thanks for the write up on this. I own a car audio shop and received at least 10 calls today from people looking for this device. i had read the rumors about this device last week so i took down customers info and promised to call back once i had more info on pricing and availability. after reading your reviews and write ups, i called these customers back and you can hear the excitement in their voices when they learned that they will also have a way to listen to other audio content with this device, all while being charged at the same time.

other iphone/ipod devices that deliver content through a car stereo system will cost you between $200 and $300 installed. This device is essentially a plug and play device. although i wont be making as much on them (due to lack of install dollars), the amount i will be selling should even that out.

i am also very excited about the this new FM mod technology. for the last 2 years we've had to sell FM mods and antenna adapters for most cars. add in installation and thats over $150 added to the cost of the radio, all before paying for the service. I am really looking forward to these products arriving at my store and can not wait to see satellite radio begin to sell like it used to with the older wireless fm mods. ease of install and ease of use are what 90% of customers look for.

way to go SIRIUS XM, and thanks again Ryan for all of the info you have provided here on your site.

The Antenna is a standard magnetic antenna that needs to be run outside for best performance.

To me this make this unit useless for folks that want to take it car to car, or with them in a rental car.

Fols if you want XM radio in your car, why pay $400 for an iPhone and one of these Skydock units when any $49 XM Radio will do the job BETTER.

Instead of trying to emulate an XM radio just go out and buy a real XM Radio, you will be a lot happier.

Hey Greczkowski, you fat shit, the millions of iPhone and iPod Touch users will truly appreciate this option to have a full-fledged PNP unit through using their existing Apple hardware, while adding many other kick ass advantages to your car audio setup.

I realize you are probably one of those PeeCee/Winblows cunts who are jealous beyond hell with Apple's clear superiority and the fact that XM/Sirius is using that superiority to make another kick ass application.

I don't get it. it's basically a $120 XM radio where you have to supply half the hardware? All for what, a really cool user interface on the iPhone? On top of that, you can't use it to listen to XM from your home through the iPhone and get access to all the channels missing from the current app like previously reported. And what about features? I assume you won't even be able to record to the iPhone. Sorry, this thing is just silly.

While I think this device is pretty slick, I'm not so sure that it is the answer for many current subscribers. Most new cars already come equipped with satellite radio, so there's really no need for this. And while it's great that it works with the ipod Touch, you'd still need WiFi access and the additional XMOnline subscription (with fewer channels) to fully take advantage outside the car. But I still like XM's direction here. It will be interesting to see what other new hardware is coming that supports this in the home.

This thing is crapola. It's a Melvin trojan horse. The iPhone has access to much better radio than the trash which siriusFM has become, and guess what that radio and music which the iPhone has access to is free from sending Melvin a monthly check.

Wake up newbs and suckers. HD Radio is where the future is.

FM transmitter? Isn't that going to mean an inferior sound?

"If there's any bit of criticism I'd have, and it's a small one, it's that Sirius XM put the cabash on the XM Mini-Tuner and didn't include the Mini-Tuner for the SkyDock. "

This is in the works, as gen 2 device.

Wow, alot of bashers here!! Sorry guys, better cover, Sirus will be one of the biggest comeback stories ever.
Anyway, if this really can stream other apps, .mp3s, Pandora, Sirius App content, this will be a total success. It will provide a generic interface for all iPhone music, a new way to FM transmit, AND advertise for the XM service ll in one.
Go SIRIUS!!!

Well the new Powerconnect Fm transmitter sounds like it may fix the weak FM transmitter problem that Sirius and XM have been having since the FCC made them reduce the transmit power. Why can't Sirius XM produce this unit, the Power connect, so that inferior radios that SiriusXm supplied previously, can use this to solve their units problems without having to purchase a new radio, or use the Direct Connect which is not practicable for people who change vehicles daily. An add on FM transmitter with adequate power is bulky, requires wiring, and floats around if used in different vehicles temporarily as in my case.