iPod Wireless Sync - Still Hoping

The rumors of a wireless iPod are starting up again. It's been over 2 years since I first called for a wireless iPod on this blog. So if it hasn't happened by now, why would it?

  • Apple TV trickle down - The work of figuring out wireless syncing is already done. Apple did that work for the Apple TV and it works well. They've already dealt with the errors and the intervals. Now, this is over 802.11 flavors, not Bluetooth, but at this point, wireless is wireless. I'll live with Wi-Fi, but I still want Bluetooth.

  • Cost - It's years later. The Bluetooth radios are dirt cheap now, especially in iPod quantities.

  • Market has been prepped - The Zune has plowed that road. The wireless hasn't proved to be a killer app, but people are aware that it is in there. Apple loves to come late to the party and do it right. Here's an opportunity.

  • iPhone trickle down - We still don't have any good info on whether the iPhone can sync wirelessly, but Apple engineers certainly learned plenty of mechanical and electrical lessons with the radios they put in the iPhone.

  • Draw Upgrades - If you have a 5G iPod, what would make you upgrade? A bigger hard drive? Doubtful. They're getting pretty big. Until they get a bigger screen, people aren't rushing to toss gigs and gigs of movies on them. Size isn't an issue. If you wanted something smaller, you'd get a nano. Battery life might be nice, but would you buy a new one for that? Wireless done right could be a feature to upgrade for.

Now, why wouldn't it happen?

  • Cost - Adding even $5 on for a Bluetooth radio is quite a bit, not only in parts, but development time and support costs.

  • Product differentiation - If you can sync wirelessly with the iPhone, Apple might want to keep that feature high end to drive sales of the iPhone.

  • Battery life - If you believe that the iPhone only gets 40 minutes of battery life then you probably think the iPod would only get 30 :) In any case, radios do burn juice. You don't get to use them for free.

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