A Wi-Fi enabled iPod is finally on the way, set to ship in the second half of this year, according to manufacturers in Taiwan. Wi-Fi could add convenience to the Apple music player, giving users the ability to wirelessly synchronize their iPods with Macs or PCs. The feature might also let users share music from one iPod to another, similar to the Microsoft Zune's heavily promoted yet crippled Wi-Fi sharing capability.
Taiwanese makers of portable music player components say Universal Scientific Industrial (USI) will make the Wi-Fi chips allegedly going into this upcoming iPod, and the company is ready to deliver those Wi-Fi parts as soon as this month. Another Taiwanese company, Foxconn, assembler of the iPhone, was also singled out as the system assembler that may ship the player in the third quarter of this year.
Apple is late to the Wi-Fi party for its iPod, beaten to market by the Microsoft Zune, SanDisk which recently released its Sansa Connect player, Creative, Samsung and Sony, all of whom are now selling or will soon ship Wi-Fi sharing players. Given this formidable competition, Apple's move into Wi-Fi iPods seems inevitable. Welcome to the social, indeed.