Updated with additional background information on Sirius.
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- A long-feared, potential threat to Sirius XM Radio (SIRI) has become real for many tech-sector observers, prompting them to wonder whether the satellite radio company has reached the beginning of its end.
At last week's kick-off of the 2010 annual Consumer Electronics Show, one of the world's largest tech-trade shows, Pioneer unveiled a new car stereo that can detect Pandora Internet radio settings from iPhones or iPods -- which could then be translated into convenient access for the users to their favorite Pandora channels while driving.
Pandora's potential has been tantalizing from the moment it was launched in 2000, much of it owing to its Music Genome Project -- an ongoing compilation of painstakingly-detailed musical data analysis that Pandora has been using to create customized music stations for individual users.Through the project, the company has steadily added listeners every year, doubling to more than 40 million in 2009, compared to Sirius' roughly 18 million subscribers as of December. Through Pandora, users can access tunes via their Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, Palm Pre and Windows Mobile phones. Ted Cardenas, a Pioneer director of marketing, told the Wall Street Journal that he sees the creation as an opportunity to reach out to an entirely new group of consumers. This has led some observers to conclude that the new Pioneer AVIC-X920BT will threaten the very survival of Sirius, once it becomes available to the market in March.