Feeds

Chip maker's 'setback' points to major iPod revision

Tacit confirmation of the iPhone?

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Analysis PortalPlayer, the company that provides Apple with controller chips for the iPod family, has given us a tantalising glimpse of the Mac maker's plans for future music players. Unfortunately for PortalPlayer, it's not going to be part of the programme, it warned investors yesterday.

The chip company put out a terse statement stating that the successor to its PP5021 system-on-a-chip product has not been selected by Apple "for use in their mid-range and high-end Flash-based iPods". The company added that "other" iPods will continue to use the PP5021.

Let's look at what this may mean. PortalPlayer chips are currently used in the iPod Nano and the hard disk drive-based iPod. The iPod Shuffle uses a Sigmatel chip.

At the very least, PortalPlayer's statement suggests a major revision of the Nano is in the works. Since PortalPlayer is clearly worried about losing revenue or it wouldn't have issued the statement, so it clearly believes the current Nanos - the most popular iPods, and therefore PortalPlayer's bread winner - will be replaced.

At a pinch you could call the 2GB and 4GB Nanos mid-range and high-end products, respectively, but both are really sited in the bottom to middle area of of the MP3 player market. PortalPlayer's words, then, suggest Apple has its eye on higher capacity Nano models reaching up into the territory once held by the HDD models.

With a HDD-equipped video-oriented iPod believed to be in the works, Apple may well have decided that it's time to base the music-centric models on Flash. Flash prices have fallen during the past three months, and Apple has already secured its Flash supply chain with a series of deals with major Flash producers, announced in October 2005.

Apple may not have in mind a 30GB Flash-based iPod - it's technically possible, but the price would likely be prohibitive - its research might suggest that a more feasible 10GB model would attract buyers who consider a 30GB HDD-based player too capacious and/or too expensive, but think a 4-6GB Nano too basic.

But there's another, more radical possibility. If Apple is indeed preparing a product that combines an iPod with a mobile phone, it will almost certainly use Flash for storage and would undoubtedly be a high-end offering.

Newer, more capacious iPod Nanos based on chips from a rival might not be sufficient to 'scare' a company like PortalPlayer into issuing a statement headed with the words "product transition setback", but failing to secure a design win for a completely new, highly anticipated Apple product would. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Reg man builds smart home rig, gains SUPREME CONTROL of DOMAIN – Pics
LightwaveRF and Arduino: Bright ideas for dim DIYers
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
Apple patent LOCKS drivers out of their OWN PHONES
I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't let you text that
Microsoft signs Motorola to Android patent pact – no, not THAT Motorola
The part that Google never got will play ball with Redmond
Slip your finger in this ring and unlock your backdoor, phone, etc
Take a look at this new NFC jewellery – why, what were you thinking of?
Happy 25th birthday, Game Boy!
Monochrome handset ushered in modern mobile gaming era
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code
Slow and kludgy rollout will protect corporate profits
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.