Sirius just announced its first portable satellite radio player, the S50, available in October. With a color display and the ability to store satellite radio programming and MP3/WMA files, the 1.9 x 3.9-inch player also includes voice-assisted navigation of content, organized by channel.
With a suggested retail price of $359.99, Sirius says the S50 will come with a 6-hour rechargeable battery, earbuds, a belt clip, USB cable and AC adapter. The unit will also come with a car dock to enable listening while at the wheel.
Frankly, it seems rather surprising that it took Sirius this long to get their portable player out – XM’s MiFi’s been out for nearly a year. Given that these portable devices will ultimately differ little in their core functionality (unless the companies start packing a ton of value-added features into them), the content war is really where it’s at. XM snags ex-NPR newsman Bob Edwards, Sirius signs Howard Stern in a cool five-year, $500 million deal…and on and on.
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The S50 is not actually a radio reciever, you have to record the material at home or in your car and then listen to it later. Sirius is not going to release a portable reciever (what the MyFi is) because they say that walls and buildings block the reception. However, the S50 does act as an MP3 player, much like XM’s new neXus player.