updated 02:05 pm EDT, Thu March 27, 2008
Wolfson Chip Gone in Apple
(Updated with timing info) Wolfson today said that it had been dropped as the provider for audio chipsets for a significant customer likely to be Apple, according to reports. The company itself has been unwilling to disclose the customer, but a source aware of the situation told Reuters that Apple has decided not to run with the chipmaker's audio processors for versions of the iPod nano and iPod touch.
The statement directly implied that the decision affects the current generation of both iPods, though a teardown of the iPod touch by iFixit (pictured) reveals a Wolfson chip in at least the original model, suggesting either that the chip removal applies either to future models or else to significant but hidden revisions to existing devices. Apple also uses a Wolfson chip in the iPhone, though the handset is believed to be keeping the latter company's sound technology.
The chipset drop is also expected to take place late in the third quarter, according to Wolfson, matching Apple's recent practice of launching new iPods in late August or September.
UK-based Wolfson does not expect the loss of the unnamed contract to damage business in the long term and notes that an expansion into additional cellphones as well as unconventional audio players, such as GPS navigators, will help offset the perceived loss. A profit is still likely in 2008, the firm said.