Apple Won't Get Sirius

I like to get my taxes done early. So, as usual, this year I booked an appointment at the beginning of January with our accountant to run the numbers. I generally don't mind these meetings. Sure, they tend to last a couple of hours, but there's plenty of goof-off time built in for stock talk. This year was no different, except that the chitchat was about only two stocks -- XM Satellite Radio (Nasdaq: XMSR  ) and rival Sirius (Nasdaq: SIRI  ) -- and one issue -- when Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) would get its iPod ready for satellite streaming.

Apparently, it won't be soon.

According to a report in yesterday's Financial Times, Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin told a conference in New York that he's spoken with Apple CEO Steve Jobs about creating a Sirius-enabled iPod. Yet Jobs isn't interested. He seems to think that consumers are content -- at least now -- with the iPod's ability to download thousands of songs. Jobs reportedly told Karmazin he might change his tune if more interesting content were made available on satellite radio.

Huh? Isn't that a little like going to a five-star restaurant and complaining about the silverware? Maybe, but there's plenty of anecdotal evidence to prove that Jobs is right. For example, my accountant's daughter, when given the choice between an iPod and XM's MyFi portable satellite radio for a Christmas gift, took the iPod. Downloading and personalizing was simply more important. But here's the kicker: She apparently said she'd have gone with the MyFi in a second if it had the capability to download songs. I don't know whether her view mirrors that of millions of others, but I suspect she's not far off. If not, what was all that furor over the potential for an iPod radio before last month's Macworld?

Steve isn't stupid. He knows something the rest of us don't. For example, he may be angling for a better deal from Sirius or XM. Or he may just be a realist who gets that the iPod would have to become the iBrick to accommodate the battery life needed to mix in radio. But whatever the reason, investors have a right to turn a furrowed brow toward Jobs on this move. Hypergrowth markets don't come along often enough. The ability to combine two into a single product has all the elements of a perfect Rule Breakers storm. So, Steve, what are you waiting for?

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Fool contributor Tim Beyers doesn't own an iPod and doesn't listen to satellite radio. He just can't justify the cash outlay. Well, that, and he's just not hip enough to hang out at the iTunes Music Store Playlists discussion board. Tim didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story at the time of publication. You can find out what's in his portfolio by checking Tim's Fool profile. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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