updated 08:30 am EDT, Fri April 13, 2007
Foxconn Buildng WiFi iPod
Apple is planning to release a Wi-Fi iPod in the second half of the year, according to component makers in Taiwan. The sources allege that local business Universal Scientific Industrial will be responsible for supplying the Wi-Fi chipsets needed for the design, while long-time Apple partner Foxconn will be responsible for building finished units. Parts from USI wold begin delivery as soon as this month while Foxconn could be ready to ship during the summer, the report said.
Manufacturing reports such as these can sometimes be inaccurate, as suppliers will not have a clear image of a company's product strategy. Similar sources have correctly surmised that Apple would ask Foxconn to produce the iPhone for the first half of 2007 but would ship 12 million units without explaining the terms of when the figure would be reached, calling them into question. Apple itself has only advised that it would expect to sell 10 million iPhones by the end of 2008.
Other technical details were unavailable in the report, including heavily speculated switches to a touchscreen control mechanism.
Apple may be responding to increased pressure from other media player manufacturers, the sources claim. Microsoft's Zune was the first mainstream device of the kind to include Wi-Fi and uses it for sharing songs between users. Second-place iPod rival SanDisk has also released and expanded upon the concept with its Sansa Connect, which uses the wireless standard to listen to music and view friends as well as photos.