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Apple says 'no' to wireless iPod claims

Uncharacteristic response

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Apple has denied claims that the company is getting ready to offer a wireless iPod - an unusual move for a firm that usually refuses to comment on unannounced products.

According to a report at DigiTimes, Apple Taiwan dismissed the claims of "market sources" that the Mac maker is sending staff to Asia to teach the locals how to sell the iPod's rumoured wireless capabilities. It also appears to have poo-poo'd claims about the device itself.

Wireless is a logical evolutionary step for the iPod, but one that's attained new interest when Microsoft announced its Zune iPod rival. Zune is said to support Wi-Fi to allow subscribers to the player's dedicated music service to share songs. Napster subscribers can do this kind of thing already - it's a by-product of all-you-can-eat music subscription packages - but Zune may well bring a more ad hoc element to it.

However, Wi-Fi is notoriously power hungry, one reason why Palm has taken so long to build it into its smart phones. Apple may well feel the same way. In any case, there's a more useful wireless technology out there: Bluetooth, over which an iPod could stream stereo audio to a pair of wireless earphones.

This is far more likely to appeal to iPod users than some nebulous ability to share music, with Zune-using teens looking out for each other on the bus and sending over songs. They're more likely to be playing Nintendo DS multi-player games, we'd say.

Is Apple working on a wireless iPod? Almost certainly, through whether it will appear in the near term is open to question. ®

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