XM SkyDock commandeers iPhone's display, car's speakers

Taking advantage of the iPhone OS 3.0's capability to make use of accessory-specific apps, Sirius XM Radio has introduced its XM SkyDock iPhone dock, which features an XM satellite radio tuner that is controlled using the iPhone's touch screen.

New vehicles that don't offer Sirius or XM radio are pretty few and far between these days, but for the preowned crowd there's the XM SkyDock.
The XM SkyDock lets you choose and listen to satellite radio with an iPhone and a car stereo. Sirius XM Radio

Taking advantage of the iPhone OS 3.0's capability to make use of accessory-specific apps, Sirius XM Radio has introduced its XM SkyDock iPhone dock, which features an XM satellite radio tuner that is controlled using your iPhone's touch screen.

According to XM Sirius' news release:

"Designed for easy use through the existing vehicle audio system, SkyDock has a built-in XM tuner controlled by a free App that users download from the App Store. The App allows control of the XM tuner using the capabilities of the iPod touch or iPhone Multi-Touch user interface. SkyDock will also charge iPod Touch and iPhone devices while listening to live satellite radio."

So I have to pay extra for this device and bring my own screen?
The XM SkyDock uses an iPhone's screen to do its dirty work. Sirius XM Radio

The SkyDock has iTunes Tagging, so if you hear a song you like on an XM music channel, you can tag it and can purchase it from the iTunes Music Store later. Other features include game alerts and sports ticker, artist and song alerts, as well as a stock ticker.

The XM SkyDock is powered by a vehicle's 12-volt power port and connects to the radio with an aux-input cable (included). Also in the box are a magnetic mount antenna and spacers to accommodate various iPod Touch and iPhone product generations.

The XM SkyDock is compatible with iPod Touch (first and second generations), iPhone, iPhone 3G, and iPhone 3GS running iPhone OS 3.0 or later. The XM SkyDock will be sold in stores and at www.shop.xmradio.com with an MSRP $119.99 in fall 2009.

The cheapest standalone receiver in XM's catalog costs about $89 and features a three-line monochrome display. For your extra $30, you gain the capability to use your iPhone's glossy color screen. However, with TomTom's $220 iPhone cradle-app combination catching so much flack because of its high sticker price relative to cheaper standalone GPS devices, we wonder how the XM SkyDock's pricing will be received by the public.

 

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