Friday, October 20, 2006

Enough Already with the Apple/Satellite Radio Speculation

Apple has mentioned satellite radio in exactly one patent application (no patents) and everybody seems to be predicting the marriage of the two. While we are at it, let's start a Microsoft rumor. There are 3 actual Microsoft patents--not applications--that mention satellite radio. Surely, something must be up between satellite radio and Microsoft? Shouldn't we be getting excited?

The reality is that satellite radio is a legitimate entertainment medium and, consequently, as a matter of course, it gets mentioned in many (perhaps most) applications that involve audio or even video entertainment. Satellite radio is mentioned so often in patent applications that I don't bother to read most of them. If one searches the patent applications for the term "satellite radio", one would find 1,128 results.

Here are 3 Microsoft patents that mention satellite radio:

1 7,117,286 Full-Text Portable computing device-integrated appliance
2 6,996,390 Full-Text Smart car radio
3 6,993,615 Full-Text Portable computing device-integrated appliance

Plus, there are 4 Microsoft patent applications that mention satellite radio:

1 20060177046 Dynamic Volume Control
2 20060146185 Software-based audio rendering
3 20060126866 Dynamic Volume Control
7 20040260682 System and method for identifying content and managing information corresponding to objects in a signal

Surely, there is a buyout/convergence in the making ...NOT! Everybody, get a grip.

Will there be a convergence of satellite radio and other devices such as the iPod, GPSs, PDAs, pocket PCs, computers, etc.? Certainly. Someday. Perhaps sooner than we think. But the recent Apple patent application has little relevance to satellite radio and certainly should not be construed as an imminent deal between Apple and satellite radio. It might happen tomorrow, but not because of this latest patent application.

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