Ready for your wireless Apple iPod?

“Ready for your wireless iPod? Reading between the lines, such a product in the short-term pipeline seems to be the implication of a recent announcement from PortalPlayer and from what executives of the chipmaker had to say at an investor conference on Wednesday,” Troy Wolverton writes for “PortalPlayer, which provides multimedia processors for Apple Computer’s iPods, announced Tuesday that it had signed a deal with CSR, a maker of WiFi and Bluetooth wireless chips, to add wireless capabilities to digital media players. The companies said they expected to have an integrated chipset available by the second half of this year.”

“A day later, at the Thomas Weisel Partners Technology Conference in San Francisco, PortalPlayer CEO Gary Johnson said the company expected to announce customers of the new chipset product by later this year. That same day, CFO Svend-Olav Carlsen said iPod-related sales comprised 95% of PortalPlayer’s business, while predicting that such sales would be around 92% to 93% of total revenue this year,” Wolverton writes. Apple “is typically tight-lipped about future product plans. But it’s hard to believe that PortalPlayer would launch a new product for the digital media player market without its biggest customer on board. Indeed, at the conference, Johnson said PortalPlayer had a “strong” relationship with Apple and was focusing on upgrading its technology for the iPod maker. ‘I do believe we’re keeping them [Apple] on the technology roadmap,’ Johnson said at the conference. ‘We’re delivering the key attributes which keep them very successful.'”

Full article here.

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Related article:
Wireless iPod? CSR and PortalPlayer to bring wireless connectivity to personal media players – February 08, 2006


  1. I really can’t imagine using such a thing. My iPod is not perfect, but wires are not one of the things I feel the need to change.

    I don’t think Apple would do that this soon.

  2. Maybe not for an iPod, but for an iPhone or iTablet that syncs wireless to your computer to update your email, contacts, etc. I would be more interested in a functional product than I would an iPod. Maybe they should have saved the name iWork or iLife for one of these devices.

  3. Yea, wasn’t the whole point of Bluetooth to replace wires between gadgets at short ranges?

    Well half a decade later, it’s finally happening. Better late than never®

  4. Surely the point of this would be twofold.

    1. Wireless bluetooth headphones.
    2. Rendezvous sharing of music over WiFi between iPods (think university libraries or being able to play music local on your computer at home which will not fit on the iPod itself).

    It could also be implemented to access the iTMS, but this seems far less likely given the problems with input of data on the iPod. If however it got a full screen touchscreen as has been speculated, you could give it handwriting recogntion / onscreen keyboard with stylus a la PDA. I doubt it though. Not enough freely accessible WiFi hotspots for one.

    Anyway, I know I would use wireless headphones if there were some decent ones, which there would be very quickly if Apple made this move.

    Tim Coughlin

  5. Tie in an iPod wifi with Mobile Me, and you can have your content anywhere you can find a hotspot. And eventually anywhere via cellular (umm, well almost anywhere…).

    Maybe this will be one application that can help jumpstart the wifi hotspot business, although the move by many cities/towns to have town-wide muni wifi is definitely a growing trend.

    October for wifi.
    Next year for cellular.

  6. Just wanted to point out that the main obstacle to wifi in a handheld was its poor use of power (battery). This seems to have been solved by CSR.

    There’s also a low-power mode in the next wifi standard 802.11n, which was approved by the IEEE in Jan, and should be ratified within the year.

  7. Having to plug an iPod or any other portable device into your computer is a big problem. You who claim not to care about wireless iPod are only defending the status quo.

    The fewer wires and docks and extraneous crap the better. Come on get real. Wireless is the biggest missing link in the iPod.

    Pluggin a tiny music player into a computer via wires and docks is stupid.

  8. Just archived my bluetooth keyboards and mice in favor of wires. And life is sweet again. Now if only I could get the cable from my cable co. to my tvs or ROLLO45’s ‘unsecured’ wireless network off my airwaves (sigh).

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