OK, one million radios "in use?" Not sold, but in use. Putting that vague reference aside, it strikes me that even at 1 million units after 3 years, the number is quite weak. By comparison, it is believed that when Apple released iPhone 3g in the US there were 1 million sold in the first 3 days.HD Radio milestone: One million receivers are now in use. Three years after the first HD Radio receivers arrived, iBiquity says it’s crossed the one million mark. “We expect that number to grow tremendously in the coming years,” says iBiquity VP Joe D’Angelo. He tells Inside Radio the recent economic downturn has yet to make an impact on sales. At yesterday’s Kagan Radio Summit, D’Angelo noted, “The take-up rate has really grown as prices for receivers have come down.” He says the number of units in circulation should continue to grow more rapidly as HD Radio chipsets have been shrunk to fit into MP3 players and other portable devices. An iPod accessory is set to be released this summer. Even though a dozen other automobile brands are offering HD Radio options, General Motors has yet to commit. D’Angelo says iBiquity has “ongoing discussions” with every automaker, but notes it gets help from suppliers like Delphi who also push the car companies to adopt the technology. The rollout comes as car sales have plummeted. Detroit’s Big Three yesterday reported weak March sales figures. General Motors sales fell 45% last month, while Ford reported a 41% drop and Chrysler had a 39% decline. By positioning HD Radio as a replacement “upgrade” for the estimated 800 million analog radios in use, D’Angelo says, “There’s still more than enough head room for us to grow.”
Promising or not? You decide.