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Apple plans Bluetooth iPod adapter, report claims

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Apple Computer will debut a Bluetooth adapter for its iPods that will allow the music players to communicate wirelessly with a new wave of in-car Bluetooth audio systems, a Pioneer spokesperson said this week.

It's the second time an automobile-related product manager has made such an assertion over years, though Apple has failed to respond by introducing any such device.

The latest rumor

Pioneer recently introduced its DEH car sound system hub that allows anyone with a Bluetooth telephone to turn their car into an integrated, interactive office. The basic DEH head unit includes a built-in microphone and can be installed directly into a standard 5cm DIN car stereo slot, replacing the original equipment.

The DEH hub allows Bluetooth phones to operate through a car's speaker system, and automatically lowers the volume of any music being played when calls are received. All relevant information comes up on the audio unit's bright blue screen.

Speaking to Australia-based CarsGuide, a spokesman for the electronics giant said the device is not limited to high-end luxury cars and can be installed in almost any automobile. The spokesman went on to say the DEH hub requires a separate Pioneer adapter to interface with an iPod, but that Apple will bring out a Bluetooth adapter of its own that will allow iPods to make a wireless connection through the audio system.

Haven't we heard this before?

If the Pioneer spokesman's comments seem like a case of déjÃ* vu, it's for good reason. In February of 2005, an automobile product manager for Motorola told Radio France Apple would soon introduce an iPod with Bluetooth wireless capabilities that could broadcast music wirelessly through car speakers.

The Motorola product manager also described a dock or "pod" that would have allowed both a Bluetooth iPod and a mobile phone device to communicate with car stereos. A Bluetooth-enabled iPod never arrived.

Still, the rumors persist

Rumors of a Bluetooth iPod resurfaced this April when an unnamed UK-based retailer told Stuff Magazine that an iPod with built-in wireless would soon appear in the Apple stores, along with a deluge of accessories. Once again, the rumors failed to pan out.

If there's anything riding on the side of the Bluetooth iPod rumors, it's the time that has elapsed without such a device making its debut. Many insiders see wireless iPods as a natural and eventual evolution of the players.

A series of Apple patent filings over the last several years also hint that the iPod maker has been experimenting with wireless-enabled iPods, including Wi-Fi- and Bluetooth-based models.

In the most recent filing, covered by AppleInsider earlier this month, Apple described a content synchronization system for digital media players that include built-in wireless technology or have access to a docking station that includes such capabilities.
post #2 of 27
does anyone know how the sound quality for files transmitted by bluetooth?
post #3 of 27
Swweeeet...

(Wilco, where art thee? Holy Lasagna!
....
Nope, doesn't sound right.)
post #4 of 27
Awesome.
post #5 of 27
Reporters just need to start asking for date ranges instead of taking "soon" for an answer.
The Motorola guy probably said "soon" and was thinking "one year and 8 months."

See? Explains away all the discrepancies.
post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by meelash

Swweeeet...

(Wilco, where art thee? Holy Lasagna!
....
Nope, doesn't sound right.)


First of all, it has to be the first post on a given thread.

Secondly, the second word has to rhyme with "holy".

Get with the program!
post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by wilco

First of all, it has to be the first post on a given thread.

Secondly, the second word has to rhyme with "holy".

Get with the program!

Holy Bluetooth... meh. You're right.

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post #8 of 27
Adapter is not "Apple-esque", built in is.
post #9 of 27
FM transmitters and the like are way to fussy, people shouldn't have to struggle so much to get tunes from the iPod to the car stereo. Bluetooth audio transfer has more than enough bandwith to handle normal MP3s.
post #10 of 27
Just couple a wireless iPod with Mac OS X mobile (to be released by Apple) and you will have the ultimate presentation remote:

1. Make presentations on Mac or Windows.

2. Copy them to the wireless iPod.

3. Carry only the wireless iPod with you and use it as a wireless presentation remote. No wires. No computers.

It will set new standards on the corporate, education and domestic markets. The halo effect wll be tremendous.
post #11 of 27
Of course, it will plug into the dock connector, killing the ability to keep the iPod charged while it's playing. I won't buy it.
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post #12 of 27
The cheapest receiver, from what I can tell, that Pioneer has which would support Bluetooth is $550, and they have an add-on box for certain (currently much, much more expensive) receivers for $180. I don't see Apple selling too many of these adapters under that plan.

Hopefully Apple has some other cool uses for such an adapter under wraps (as someone else already said, using your iPod to control a presentation would be cool). Seriously though, I'd think it'd be much more likely that Apple would release new iPods with Bluetooth built-in than an adapter. I also don't see this happening till OS X supports A2DP (Bluetooth advanced audio distribution profile).
post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmoNut

Of course, it will plug into the dock connector, killing the ability to keep the iPod charged while it's playing. I won't buy it.

Why can't the adapter have a "pass thru" dock connector? This seems a relatively easy thing for 3rd parties to design. A plug adapter that still allows the dock connecter to work, at least at the regular iPod size.

When Apple abandoned the "controller" dock at the top of the original iPods, it forces everyone to deal with the dock connector in bizarre ways and I think was stupid even if it saved them 50 cents per iPod and 2 cubic mm of space.
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post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by bperkins

Adapter is not "Apple-esque", built in is.

I agree. Why would they develop an adapter when that will look bulky? I think it will just be built in to the new revision.
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Feynman

I agree. Why would they develop an adapter when that will look bulky? I think it will just be built in to the new revision.

Why would it look bulky? How big is a BT board? It could be the same width, thickness at the iPod and I bet add no more than 1/4 in the iPods length. It could be done so that it snapped into place and barely be noticeable. Besides built-in is not necessarily Apple-esque. Apple suggests bulky mics and FM tuners.

Anyway, if a built-in version was cheap enough, they might as well put them inside, I just think all of the above plugs should be easily designed to click on as needed to the bottom of the iPod. In this way you could modularize any config you want, like Lego's, but alot nicer looking, and if you don't want to do that, you don't have to.
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post #16 of 27
Via the different Bluetooth profiles and a new headset with mic (may be wireless via Bluetooth too) it would be possible to use the iPod as a "mobile phone". Apple could implement into the Airport and Mac products a Bluetooth 2.0 Class 1 interface (300 feet range) and have a VOIP software running in them. Out of the Bluetooth range the iPod/iPhone could connect via Bluetooth to a mobile phone, which could stay in any pocket of the user while the whole telephony interface is managed by the iPod/iPhone.

This way Apple would not need to produce a fully equipped "mobile phone" and sell it via mobile network operators where the market entrance is difficult. They simply sell a mobile phone accessory which takes over the whole user interface. In addition they add to their .Mac service a voice over IP service to connect the iPod/iPhone/Airport/Mac to international phone networks at relatively low tariffs. May be Apple implements an IChat client for voice and video chats into the iPod too.

What do you think?
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post #17 of 27
Holy Bluetoothy!

The iPod phone will have to have it integrated internally.
If they have done all the work to design it into the phone, it only makes sense to include it internally on the iPod as well.

I wish Apple would partner with Alpine or Pioneer and create a car stereo that conforms to Apple human interface standards.

Slightly off topic but speaking of Bluetooth...I really want a bluetooth remote control that I can store in the Express card slot of the MacBook Pro.
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacGregor

Why would it look bulky? How big is a BT board? It could be the same width, thickness at the iPod and I bet add no more than 1/4 in the iPods length. It could be done so that it snapped into place and barely be noticeable. Besides built-in is not necessarily Apple-esque. Apple suggests bulky mics and FM tuners.

Anyway, if a built-in version was cheap enough, they might as well put them inside, I just think all of the above plugs should be easily designed to click on as needed to the bottom of the iPod. In this way you could modularize any config you want, like Lego's, but alot nicer looking, and if you don't want to do that, you don't have to.

I remember when Apple first announced the retail strategy. Steve wanted people to take the product home with them. He wanted them to just open up the box and just start using the product.

Needless to say, not only is Apple [Steve Jobs] huge on presentation so it has to look appealing when you pull it out to use it, but also on having the product just work out of the box without any hassle of attachments.

Besides, from a sales point of view;

Zune for 299.99 with built in Bluetooth vs iPod for 299.99 with Bluetooth attachment for 49.99.

The additional 50 bucks is a lot to some people.
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella

Slightly off topic but speaking of Bluetooth...I really want a bluetooth remote control that I can store in the Express card slot of the MacBook Pro.

That sounds like another great 3rd party idea!! I would like to see also a presentation tool for Keynotes and such. Can the current remote do that?
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post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Feynman

I remember when Apple first announced the retail strategy. Steve wanted people to take the product home with them. He wanted them to just open up the box and just start using the product.

Needless to say, not only is Apple [Steve Jobs] huge on presentation so it has to look appealing when you pull it out to use it, but also on having the product just work out of the box without any hassle of attachments.

Besides, from a sales point of view;

Zune for 299.99 with built in Bluetooth vs iPod for 299.99 with Bluetooth attachment for 49.99.

The additional 50 bucks is a lot to some people.

Yes, but again only if BT is considered standard equipment!!! If it is like FM tuning and a microphone it will be an add-on!!
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post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacGregor

That sounds like another great 3rd party idea!! I would like to see also a presentation tool for Keynotes and such. Can the current remote do that?

Sounds like a job for Paul Griffin and the folks at Griffin Technology http://www.griffintechnology.com/
The current Apple remote is about 1mm too thick.
My guess is that probably only .1% of MacBook Pro owners have any devices for the Express card slot.
Most will probably never use it for anything else.
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella

Sounds like a job for Paul Griffin and the folks at Griffin Technology http://www.griffintechnology.com/
The current Apple remote is about 1mm too thick.
My guess is that probably only .1% of MacBook Pro owners have any devices for the Express card slot.
Most will probably never use it for anything else.

Griffin is great. Yet with BT and Airport and all becoming standard equipment on laptops, what is a PCI card for anymore? Telephony and what?
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post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacGregor

Griffin is great. Yet with BT and Airport and all becoming standard equipment on laptops, what is a PCI card for anymore? Telephony and what?

I was disappointed that Apple left FireWire 800 out of the 15" MacBook Pro.
I had used it extensively on my G4 PowerBook.

I would like to use the ExpressCard slot to eventually add FW800 and eSATA.
Since ExpressCard is a new format the prices are a bit outrageous.
So, I'll be waiting till the prices drop.
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacGregor

Yes, but again only if BT is considered standard equipment!!! If it is like FM tuning and a microphone it will be an add-on!!

I have no use for an FM tuner or mic. Bluetooth is not an "add on" more so a necessity. Everyone would use it. It's almost built in to ever Mac sold (besides the MacPro which boggles me) so it would only make sense for there to be seamless connectivity between Bluetooth equipped Mac's and Bluetooth equipped iPods.
post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Feynman

so it would only make sense for there to be seamless connectivity between Bluetooth equipped Mac's and Bluetooth equipped iPods.

Wireless data rates are way too slow to be used for copying huge music libraries over. (Anyone remember USB 1.0?) However, it could be used for syncing other bits of data over or even be used for streaming music.
Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtomlin

Wireless data rates are way too slow to be used for copying huge music libraries over. (Anyone remember USB 1.0?) However, it could be used for syncing other bits of data over or even be used for streaming music.

I was not suggesting to copy music but rather the use for headphones, or even to transfer or address book files, think iSync type intergration. I'm sure Apple could come up with an innovative use for Bluetooth to be integrated into the iPod to justify it to be built in.

They only make products that they take advantage of 100% In other words, they would not come out with a Bluetooth adapter only to be used for third party products. If they offered Bluetooth, then they would find something to use it with to make it a major selling point. Thus another point on why they would not have an adapter.
post #27 of 27
With Bluetooth EDR 2.0 there could be some reasonable uses for this technology in an iPod.
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