Wi-Fi equipped iPod on the horizon?
Apple will bring out an iPod with Wi-Fi wireless connectivity on board during the latter half of the year - if the latest whispers coming from Taiwan's electronics manufacturer community are to be believed, that is.
So claims local newssite DigiTimes today, which mentions moles from contract manufacturers Foxconn and Universal Scientific (USI). Foxconn is making the player; USI the Wi-Fi module it's said to contain.
Wi-Fi is one of those features of questionable value in a personal music player. Certainly, Microsoft's Zune, which uses Wi-Fi for song-sharing, doesn't appear to have won swathes of converts to wireless music.
More likely, if Wi-Fi is part of the iPod programme, it's to allow the player to grab content directly from the iTunes online store. That's almost certainly going to be a feature of the iPhone - albeit over cellular rather than Wi-Fi - and it makes particular sense if the facility will be a part of the much-rumoured video-centric widescreen iPod.
I don't buy the idea of Apple allowing you to buy anything directly onto an iPod or iPhone - for starters you'd get cases of people losing their iPod and therefore everything they've bought, wheras forcing them through iTunes - which nags you to back up - removes that issue.
Also Apple's DRM system is reasonably simple - iTunes manages what goes onto the iPod - the iPod does relatively little. This is far simpler than the various Windows schemes where the player itself has to do a lot of authorisation.
The most logical thing is for it to be part of a wider policy to allow Apple's products to all interconnect without cabling - i.e. go direct from iPod to AppleTV or AirportExpress speakers. Would be a good solution in cars too.
I also suspect we'll see an iPod that is somewhat like an iPhone without the phone bit - you could implement web connected widgets without a touchscreen - with a touchscreen you could have the browser, Google maps, etc, which would make a very neat portable device.
Doesn't it make sense the iPod would be able to play content on Macs/PC's sharing their iTunes libraries? Kinda like what AppleTV does?