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XM’s Passport Renamed Mini-Tuner

8/03/2006 09:05:00 AM Eastern

New York — XM’s Passport tuner cartridge will ship in September as previously announced but under a new name: the XM Mini-Tuner.

A spokesman for the satellite radio company said the 9-volt-battery-sized tuner, meant to be swapped among multiple XM-ready products to cut consumers’ subscription costs, “does a better job of describing what the product actually does, and it prevents confusion with other products.” It will be “broadly available at retail” in September, he added.

The cartridge was originally named Passport, but the name was trademarked by Escort, maker of Passport-branded radar detectors, said sources familiar with the issue. XM then considered Pass, but Pass is trademarked by Pass Labs, a maker of high-end audio amplifiers, preamps, speakers and other audio electronics.

The XM Mini-Tuner cartridge retails for a suggested $29.99, and the docking station needed for connection to XM-ready products is another $29.99, including antenna.

Eventually, home and portable audio products will incorporate a slot to accept the cartridge directly.

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