XM Bows $149 Receiver

By Amy Gilroy On Sep 15 2003 - 6:00am

XM Satellite Radio announced it will ship early next month a new low-cost FM modulator receiver under the XM brand.

Called the XM Commander, it is a universal XM receiver that works with any head unit with FM reception. Supplied by Terk, it will have a suggested retail of $149.95, including antenna and remote.

Earlier this year, Pioneer stopped selling its FM modulator XM receiver because it was not cost effective, according to industry members. That product carried a list price of $199 without the antenna and remote. Sony is still selling an FM modulator XM receiver at a suggested list price of $250 without antenna. Alpine is also selling a universal FM modulator for $80 that still requires an XM tuner box.

This is XM's second product to carry the XM brand exclusively, the first being its XM PCR receiver for the computer. That product, sold mainly through the Internet and PC catalogs is expected to be offered through more retailers later in the fourth quarter, including, possibly, CE retailers, said XM VP/retail marketing Dan Murphy.

Murphy said the XM Commander offers an easy solution for drivers who do not want wires exposed on their dashboard.

The XM Commander is manufactured in Asia, imported by Terk and it was designed by XM, he added. Major national retailers and regional stores are among those expected to offer the product in October.

XM also announced this month a "one million subscriber campaign" offering numerous contests and promotions.

The campaign, which kicked off Sept. 1, enables all XM subscribers to enter a sweepstakes to win a 2004 Cadillac SRX or a 2004 Pontiac GTO, both with XM service for life. XM listeners can also win prizes, such as lunch with Quincy Jones or a music lesson with Wynton Marsalis, by calling into XM and stating why they love the service.

Other promotions include a national two-week tour by XM deejays featuring live broadcasts from most U.S. states, numerous live performances and a Refer-a-Friend program offering incentives, such as free XM service or $400 gift cards.

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