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Apple's iPod may gain Wi-Fi by holidays

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 
Apple plans to launch new iPods featuring Wi-Fi during the second half of 2007, according to a report at DigiTimes, the same publication which first reported that Apple would be forced to push out Leopard's release until October.

In a brief posting, the Taiwanese rumor publicized cited "portable music player component makers" who say that Universal Scientific Industrial (USI) has been contracted by the Cupertino-based iPod maker to produce the Wi-Fi modules and that Foxconn will act as the OEM system assembler.

USI will reportedly begin the first shipments of its Wi-Fi modules to Apple later this month, while Foxconn isn't expected to deliver the completed players until the third quarter, which runs July - September.

DigiTimes's report is somewhat in line with expectations published by AppleInsider over the course of the past few months. Sources initially reported that three distinct iPod models lie on Apple's roadmap for 2007, later adding that one of those players --- a next-gen video iPod -- was tracking for a third quarter release.

Thus far, Microsoft's Zune has led the way to increasing development of Wi-Fi portable music players, with Creative and SanDisk most recently showcasing such players at the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show. According to DigiTimes, Samsung and Sony are also planning to offer similar products in the near future.
post #2 of 46
After yesterday, now DigiTimes has cred

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post #3 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bacillus View Post

After yesterday, now DigiTimes has cred

If you make enough predictions, odds are, even if you suck, you'll eventually be half-right on something.

Soon, iPodders will know the magic of squirting. I guess, especially for the ones that don't get out much.
post #4 of 46
In another shock news story, AI has learned that new iPods are due later this year!
post #5 of 46
What's the chances that Apple/Jobs said October so that Digitimes WOULD have more cred to spread false rumors?
Not that they would delay 10.5 JUST for that reason, but if the engineers said September or October... say October, but deliver in September.
Ahhh, long week I guess. My RDF sheild is waning.
post #6 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bacillus View Post

After yesterday, now DigiTimes has cred

As I began reading the story I couldn't avoid thinking just that.
post #7 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyastronaut View Post

As I began reading the story I couldn't avoid thinking just that.

In another shock news story, AI has learned that Digitimes has aquired some cred!
post #8 of 46
I'm guessing wifi on new ipods seems reasonable if the new ipod will be an iphone sans the phone part. having an ipod with internet browser and widgets will make it the next newton. sorta.
post #9 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyastronaut View Post

I'm guessing wifi on new ipods seems reasonable if the new ipod will be an iphone sans the phone part. having an ipod with internet browser and widgets will make it the next newton. sorta.

I don't know if they'd release that if they thought it might cannibalize iPhone sales; still, that would be unbelievably awesome. If it had all the functionality of the iPhone except for phone/voice mail/SMS/3G data, I just might buy one instead of an iPhone.
post #10 of 46
Usually they would save these things for an iphone relaunch (like what they did with the shuffle) to pick up the consumers that waited long enough for the iphone to reinvent itself. How about blue iphones for $79!
post #11 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by psychodoughboy View Post

I don't know if they'd release that if they thought it might cannibalize iPhone sales; still, that would be unbelievably awesome. If it had all the functionality of the iPhone except for phone/voice mail/SMS/3G data, I just might buy one instead of an iPhone.

For the millions of iPhones they expect to sell, there are several more millions who will not buy an iPhone but will buy this 'iPhone-without-a-Phone' iPod.

As to your fears of cannibalization: Cannibalize your own product or your competitors will gladly do it for you.
post #12 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

For the millions of iPhones they expect to sell, there are several more millions who will not buy an iPhone but will buy this 'iPhone-without-a-Phone' iPod.

As to your fears of cannibalization: Cannibalize your own product or your competitors will gladly do it for you.

tundraboy is right.
Apple wants the iPhone to get off to a strong start so they won't release competing iPods till October. After back-to-school is over Apple will announce...
"we've sold 5 million iPhones in the first 4 months of availability"
Then they will announce the new iPods which will be like the iPhones minus the phone features.
At that point they will have a solid line-up heading into the holiday buying season.
It doesn't matter at that point what people buy as long as it has an Apple logo on it.
post #13 of 46
Quote:
For the millions of iPhones they expect to sell, there are several more millions who will not buy an iPhone but will buy this 'iPhone-without-a-Phone' iPod.

As to your fears of cannibalization: Cannibalize your own product or your competitors will gladly do it for you.

Amen, brother.
post #14 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

tundraboy is right.
Apple wants the iPhone to get off to a strong start so they won't release competing iPods till October.
...
At that point they will have a solid line-up heading into the holiday buying season.

That's a reasonable prediction. Sept-Oct is about the time period that they have done their iPod updates in the last three years.
post #15 of 46
How will wifi help anything? Wow now we can transfer songs from my computer to my ipod even slower than before and waste more battery!
Sounds pointless to me.
post #16 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blascock View Post

How will wifi help anything? Wow now we can transfer songs from my computer to my ipod even slower than before and waste more battery!
Sounds pointless to me.

Syncing by WiFi is a poor use but there are other potential uses. One is song sharing, another is allowing you to use the Internet away from home and without having to carry a notebook.

I'm not sold on those ideas though. I want one with Bluetooth without requiring a potentially fragile dongle so I can use wireless headphones. I'm tired of things snagging my headphone cord, or having to run the cord under my shirt.
post #17 of 46
Kind of funny how many people said the Zune's Wifi was a useless feature, and now all of a sudden it's great... In this case, it looks like Apple will be the last to the party...
post #18 of 46
The only still up in the air is the capacity of the full size iPod. I won't believe Apple would switch to high-cost SSD and give up huge profit margins for the sake of an update, and cannibalization of the iPhone.

Somehow this WiFi feature may tie in perfectly with the rumored subscription-based offering on iTunes music, with Steve's RDF downplaying stagnant capacity tiers.
post #19 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

Kind of funny how many people said the Zune's Wifi was a useless feature, and now all of a sudden it's great... In this case, it looks like Apple will be the last to the party...

The difference is that MS has sold 2* Zune players in five months so you will never meet the other person who you can share music with. This is not the case with iPods.

*fine, more than 2, but less than 10!
post #20 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Soon, iPodders will know the magic of squirting. I guess, especially for the ones that don't get out much.

Imagine Steve Jobs standing on stage, turtle neck and jeans: "Squirting comes to the iPod!"
post #21 of 46
Let's keep the screen of the Video iPod we have now, add a bit of touchscreen capability, and take away the bottom 50% that contains empty space/scrollwheel. There. Now We'd have a small square with no buttons (Except for the hold switch). I would be happy with an iPod like that. You'd have a flashy touch-interface without cannabalizing iPhone sales
post #22 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

Kind of funny how many people said the Zune's Wifi was a useless feature, and now all of a sudden it's great... In this case, it looks like Apple will be the last to the party...

I always felt like the Zune dev team had wanted to create a device that was subscription ONLY, thus allowing Zunes to trade songs with other Zunes without any limitations.

But having worked with Microsoft, I could see how that idea could slowly get dismantled.

I really don't see Apple making a device that allows users to share music without a subscription service involved either, otherwise they would have to come up with a "3 play, 3 days" system just like MS had too.

They work too closely with record labels to be allowed to make what they would consider an illegal P2P device.
post #23 of 46
how about an option where you can trade songs with other ipods, and call the feature iJack?
post #24 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkc View Post

how about an option where you can trade songs with other ipods, and call the feature iJack?

And I suppose you could take off the i, add "ass" at the end, and then we'd have a name to call you
post #25 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mick View Post

I always felt like the Zune dev team had wanted to create a device that was subscription ONLY, thus allowing Zunes to trade songs with other Zunes without any limitations.

But having worked with Microsoft, I could see how that idea could slowly get dismantled.

I really don't see Apple making a device that allows users to share music without a subscription service involved either, otherwise they would have to come up with a "3 play, 3 days" system just like MS had too.

They work too closely with record labels to be allowed to make what they would consider an illegal P2P device.


They could make the Wifi sharing just like they do with apple TV when it connects to other shared libraries. Just share your library, but not really sync with another ipod. that way no songs actually get copied to the other ipod.
post #26 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blascock View Post

How will wifi help anything? Wow now we can transfer songs from my computer to my ipod even slower than before and waste more battery!
Sounds pointless to me.

How about browsing the web?
Checking email?
Instant Messaging?
post #27 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blascock View Post

How will wifi help anything? Wow now we can transfer songs from my computer to my ipod even slower than before and waste more battery!
Sounds pointless to me.

Look at the big picture.

WiFi access points are pretty common these days, other makes are adding WiFI (though none have shown a worthwhile use for it, 1.8" drives are excessive and OS X has been ported to the ARM processor.

The iPod Video will probably use the same 480x320 widescreen with multi-touch so it will require a similar OS X Leopard that we see in the iPhone. If so, it could easily add Safari to the OS X build for easy internet access with WiFI.

The use of OS X on the iPhone and iPod will generate much buzz with the hacker community, like with the AppleTV.

I don't foresee Apple allowing you to sync via 802.11g. As you mention, the speed is too slow and the battery drain to great. It just doesn''t make sense.
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post #28 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

Kind of funny how many people said the Zune's Wifi was a useless feature, and now all of a sudden it's great... In this case, it looks like Apple will be the last to the party...

We don't know that yet because if they do impliment wifi, we don't know yet what it will be used for on an iPod. IF they do it the same way as the Zune, then it will be just as useless. But if it's more like the iPhone, then it will be very useful.
post #29 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

Kind of funny how many people said the Zune's Wifi was a useless feature, and now all of a sudden it's great... In this case, it looks like Apple will be the last to the party...

Nobody is saying that Zune's WiFI "squirting" is great. WiFi on a portable music player only makes sense if there is web browser too.
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post #30 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Nobody is saying that Zune's WiFI "squirting" is great. WiFi on a portable music player only makes sense if there is web browser too.

Or we could all (temporarily) share each others music while we are in range. And when we connect to our computers later, being asked if we want to purchase any of the songs we had heard earlier.
post #31 of 46
If the iPod goes Wi-Fi, than sure the iPod Hi-Fi goes Wi-Fi too, no?
Uhm, i'd love that particular feature.
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post #32 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

Or we could all (temporarily) share each others music while we are in range.

Maybe, but I really don't see this as worthwhile feature.

There are other issues involved with this that would cause Apple to not use it or impose severe limitations that would inevitably upset many.
For example: Imagine that you are watching the new iTunes Store release of 300 on your new 120GB iPod Video w/WiFi while waiting for your plane at the JFK. You have sharing turned on and there are dozens of people trying to listen to your music and watch your videos over WiFI while you are trying to watch a video. The processor certainly can't handle that load and your battery will empty faster than a sailor's wallet at a Singapore whore house.
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post #33 of 46
The combination of WiFi enabled iPods and nil-DRM iTunes tracks isn't a realistic business model.


Agree with Vox though that building an Airport Express with Airtunes into iPod Hifi is a non-brainer.
post #34 of 46
I'm gonna take a wild guess and say Apple will not put WiFi into iPods, but rather wireless USB or similar technology instead.

Why? Because...

1. WiFi is the kind of "me-too" thinking that the whole PC industry is so used to. On the other hand, Apple has a history of surprising its audience with solutions that make more sense. Does WiFi in a music player makes sense? Hardly, unless Apple turns iPod into an internet communicator like iPhone (but hey... that might happen...).

2. What's the biggest application for adding wireless to iPods? Wireless sync of course! Setting up a wireless network is cool, but it's no where as useful as being able to sync w/ iTunes over the air. Sure, WiFi can achieve this too (as in Apple TV), but a PAN approach for a portable player is more suitable than a LAN solution.

3. By incorporating wireless USB or similar, iPod overtakes Zune's WiFi as the bleeding edge technology instead of being labeled as a Zune follower.

Or it could only be my wishful thinking. We'll know when the day comes.
post #35 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCE10 View Post

I'm gonna take a wild guess and say Apple will not put WiFi into iPods, but rather wireless USB or similar technology instead.

What are the drawbacks to WUSB?
How does it compare to 802.11g and n in energy usage?
How does it compare in HW costs?
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post #36 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

Kind of funny how many people said the Zune's Wifi was a useless feature, and now all of a sudden it's great... In this case, it looks like Apple will be the last to the party...

No, the Zune WiFi feature remains useless. "Welcome to the social" is pointless because of:

1) no critical mass to share amongst,
2) hobbled transfer abilities: 3 plays / 3 days and an uncertain song catalog to draw from (not all record companies gave their consent to sharing)
3) Microsoft's textbook approach to feature addition just doesn't "get it" and throwing a $5 component into a box to gain a checklist point is no way to design a product.

However, WiFi in general has more potential than the Zune's poor effort, as shown by the interesting Yahoo! + Sandisk Sansa plan. It remains to be seen whether it will catch on, however.

The assumption is that when WiFi does come to iPod, the feature will have been better thought out. It doesn't automatically make it good, just that past history shows Apple doesn't add features until they are ready for primetime.
post #37 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blascock View Post

How will wifi help anything? Wow now we can transfer songs from my computer to my ipod even slower than before and waste more battery!
Sounds pointless to me.

I agree. I don't see WiFi as being all that great of an idea. One, you would need services in place to capitalize on the feature. Since you wouldn't have any, you would have to build them into the iPods themselves, for communication with one another (like what MS did with the Zune).

Sharing music doesn't seem all that cool of a feature (thus I don't have a Zune) and neither does streaming internet radio ala the new Sansa devices. Plus, I can't think of any type of interaction that I might want to do with my iPod - heck, part of the value of the iPod is that it allows me to not interact with those around me.

However, if I had to guess at what types of WiFi enabled features might be useful, they would relate to alerting me to information that I miss because I've got my headphones on. For example, receiving an alert that my flight is boarding. Unfortunately, I can't see where the payoff would be for, say the airlines, to implement such a feature. So, unless Apple has thought of some cool feature that I'm missing, I will pass.
post #38 of 46
Wi-Fi + web browser + decent size screen = itunes store downloads direct to iPod...

Sounds like a reasonable idea... It would allow iPod users who don't have their own computer (there are actually quite a lot of these) to buy from the store - this could be quite a revenue spinner...
post #39 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Maybe, but I really don't see this as worthwhile feature.

There are other issues involved with this that would cause Apple to not use it or impose severe limitations that would inevitably upset many.
For example: Imagine that you are watching the new iTunes Store release of 300 on your new 120GB iPod Video w/WiFi while waiting for your plane at the JFK. You have sharing turned on and there are dozens of people trying to listen to your music and watch your videos over WiFI while you are trying to watch a video. The processor certainly can't handle that load and your battery will empty faster than a sailor's wallet at a Singapore whore house.

That's ridiculous! Those places are cheap.
post #40 of 46
the obvious use IMO is with the proliferation of Apple TV and wifi iPods.. imagine calling over to your mates house to watch a movie! SIMPLE Boom!

just add the 2 word killer feature someone mentioned the other day to iTunes store.

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