Sunday, April 15, 2007

Apple To Launch a WiFI iPod ?

Several blogs are speculating the release of a WiFi enabled iPod. The iPhone already has inbuilt WiFi. Mihai Alexandru writes about a WiFi enabled iPod.

The rumor mill about Apple’s intentions has started again as DigiTimes reports that Apple may launch a WiFi iPod later this year. DigiTimes is quoting Taiwan portable music player component makers, who said that USI will produce WiFi modules for iPod and Foxconn wil be the OEM system assembler. Apple’s latest gadget, iPhone, has a built-in WiFi (802.11b/g).

The WiFi enabled MP3 players seems to be the latest trend. The first MP3 player with WiFi capabilities was Zune, the Microsoft’s iPod killer, which was unveiled last year. Still the WiFi capabilities of Zune are intended for different use. Using WiFi Zune’s users may share songs between them. The songs have copy protection functions, preventing the recipient of the song to copy the song more than three times. If the gadget is connected to the PC the software enables the user to find the song on the Zune music portal where it can be bought.

At CES 2007, SanDisk announced the Sansa Connect, a Wi-Fi enabled MP3 player that lets consumers enjoy and recommend music from almost anywhere. The Sansa Connect un-tethers consumers from their PCs allowing them to connect to music and online photos through any open wireless “hot spot” Internet connection. Already available on retail shelves in the United States, the new Sansa Connect also contains community features for recommending music and photos with the simple click of a button and a “live” Wi-Fi connection.

When the Sansa Connect is not connected to a WiFi network, the player behaves like a traditional Flash MP3 player and can be connected to a PC. The 4-gigabyte Sansa Connect features a sleek, attractive profile with large 2.2-inch TFT color screen, a microSD slot for music and photo capacity expansion, and an internal speaker. The suggested retail price of Sansa Connect is $249.99.

Las month, ARCHOS introduced ARCHOS 704-WiFi, the only PMP with full wireless capabilities. The 704-WiFi also supports video downloads from the new online stores of leading retailers. With the new wireless-enabled players, ARCHOS tries to capture the growing trend in consumer portable entertainment: the ability to watch digital media files on the TV.

MP3 players makers are rushing to add new features into their products because of the competition from mobile phones. The analysts predict music-enabled mobiles will outnumber standalone MP3 devices by five to one come 2012.

More than half of the one billion mobile handsets shipped globally are expected to have music-playing capabilities in 2007, analyst house Portio Research predicts. MP3-enabled handset sales are expected to be highest in northern and Western Europe with 95 per cent of mobiles predicted to be MP3-enabled by 2011 in the region, the research reveals.

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