Ford’s future software upgrades could hinder Sirius growth

Ken Hong November 9, 2011 0
Ford’s future software upgrades could hinder Sirius growth

Ever since the debut of Ford’s entertainment platform, MyFord Touch which came out with the Ford Edge back in 2010, there’s been multiple complaints from consumers regarding the glitches that came with this software. MyFord Touch is a touchscreen that has replaced the knobs and buttons of the traditional dashboard, along with the capability of voice commands. There has been issues such as the system shutting off unexpectedly, slow to respond, and failure to respond to consumers’ demands both touching and voicing. Although Ford’s rating has dropped due to its software issues, do give Ford some credit for its innovative and risk taking approach towards a new technology that could very well be the future to come.

With that being said, Ford has already mentioned of a software upgrade early next year to fix the bugs of MyFord Touch. Flash drives will be sent out to drivers in the U.S. that could take about 45 minutes to complete, drivers can also bring their vehicles to a dealer and have it done for free. The resolution for drivers outside of the U.S. has not been thought up yet.

Ford could be hurting themselves as they make advancements on their product that could compete against the Sirius XM satellite radio. With a vast majority of Sirius subscribers who only uses this product in their cars, competition is growing strong as the spread of Bluetooth becomes available in most of the recent automobiles. Ford was an early adopter of the Sirius radio but expansion of their own technology could stagger the future need for Sirius radio. The Ford Sync offers capabilities such as connecting to MP3 players and smartphones, navigation, weather, roadside assistance, and Google maps. To make matters worse, Ford and Microsoft has been trying to acquire Pandora into the mix by offering free streaming via iPhones and other smartphones with data plans. You might ask why Ford is stabbing themselves in the foot by doing this since Ford gets a cut for its Sirius subscribers, but the reality is that Sirius subscriptions never went down when the Ford Sync was released three years back.

Another thing that might have consumers turn their heads on Sirius would be the price comparison between Pandora $12.95/month versus Sirius’s $14.49/month starting next year. Sirius XM 2.0 will also have its own upgradable software to keep up with the demands of today’s society. Competition does seem threatening to Sirius XM for the time being and I do believe it will eventually go down like the GPS systems that once preceded smartphones and mobile apps.


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