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Next-gen iPhone to gain FM transmitter tech

Courtesy of same chip that'll provide 802.11n Wi-Fi

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Will the next iPhone have built-in Griffin iTrip-style FM transmission tech? It certainly appears so - and 802.11n Wi-Fi into the bargain.

AppleInsider claims that the latest pre-release version of iPhone OS 3.0 references a Broadcom 802.11n-capable wireless chip, the BCM4329.

The iPhone 3G can currently connect by 802.11b/g in the 2.4GHz band. The 4329 not only boosts the radio's speed but also adds support for the 5GHz band and, with it, the enterprise-friendy 802.11a spec.

It's also able to do Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, a step up from the current iPhone's Bluetooth 2.0+EDR implementation - not that the iPhone actually uses Bluetooth for anything other than headset connections.

All good stuff, but 9to5mac.com spotted that the Broadcom part also has an on-board FM receiver and transmitter.

We'd go further and point out that the Fm tuner's able to pick up RDS station identity information over here in Europe, along with RDS' North American equivalent, RBDS.

Apple hasn't shown much interest in equipping iPods and iPhones with FM tuners, but the Broadcom chip's FM transmitter paves the way for allowing the gadgets to stream music to nearby radios.

Apple itself may not enable such a feature, but the greater-than-before access to the base hardware provided by the iPhone OS 3.0 API may well allow third-parties to offer FM tuner and/or transmitter applications that tap into the Broadcom chip - if, indeed, it is implemented in future Apple hardware. ®

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