Mobile Electronics Roundtable
JM: Concurrent with that is a little bit of distraction in the business. Satellite radio is so heavily funded and supported by the satellite radio companies that, in some environments, it's taken more advertising than would have been devoted to head units, speakers and amps. I think it's got a remarkable future once the financials are all sorted out.
SW: If you put all this in perspective, we're talking about the structural changes of our industry. We're at an interesting point in terms of what we as an industry promise to a customer. For the last 10 to 12 years, we have told our customers that digital is perfect. First was CD, now DVD, now we're moving into the last bastion of analog, and we're converting it rapidly to digital. At the end of 2003, we will have digitized the entire source structure available in an automobile. Stepping outside of the pure enthusiast market, consumers all think digital is great. In fact, most of them would believe it's perfect, so it sets up high levels of expectations and high levels of opportunity for all of us. As we look at the first phases of HD radio, we're going to have higher hardware costs, so we're going to appeal to an early adopter at first and then, as this transition to HD radio starts to gain traction over the next two to three product years, and build-rates get bigger, cost of products will go down.
CC: How has the MECP program impacted the education and the professionalism of the industry?