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back to article Naked iPod touch dangles its FM radio

Apple's new iPod touch includes a wireless chip capable of handling 5GHz WiFi networks and FM radio signals. In tearing open a third generation touch - a device unveiled just this week by a "vertical" Steve Jobs - our friends at Ifixit discovered a Broadcom BCM4329 chip, which supports the 802.11n WiFi standard as well as an FM …

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Welcome

How Apple makes money..

Step one: Device concept

Step two: Build fuly working prototype

Step three: Sell cut down model

Step four: 6ish months later add in 1 feature from step 2

Step five: repeat above until deice = step 2

The reason..social pressure for the jobsian cool increases until you are forced to upgrade for funcions you just dont care about. That way apple can make anywhere from 2 to 4 times more despite still being such a small percent of the electronics market. Not so many new customers just lots of upgrading.

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And so it begins...again

As mentioned above, this is exactly what Apple did with the Bluetooth chipset in the 2nd gen Touch. Not only had the chip been there all along and been effectively bought and paid for already, you then had to PAY for the software upgrade to turn it on. Then you discover it only connects to Bluetooth headphones.

So expect to pay a tenner for the iPhone v4 software to enable something you already have but only let's you listen to the radio stations Apple want you to.

Fools.

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Linux

Big Deal

I gave my ipod touch to a friend -- okay more like sold it to him. Still, it wasn't a big deal for me.

I will, however, admit that if our Mac Lord came up with say 500gig ipod touch -- and it's breakable -- a la jail break, with bluetooth, camera, and fm read, plus recorder I will be the first in line.

Cult or not iTouch is a good thing :)

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@shaunm

Absolutely right!

Whereas the process for Windows Mobile is so much better!

Step 1: Buy device

Step 2: Go to xda-developers

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Joke

@shaunm

You forgot the most important step.....

Step 6: PROFIT!!!

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Jobs Halo

Another nail in DAB's coffin

If the iPhone gets FM radio, then no government would ever dare turn off the transmitters!

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FM was a deal breaker

My wife wanted an iPod, till I pointed out they don't do FM (unlike my old Zen). In the end I got her a Sony Walkman (after reading lots of reviews, mostly on ElReg (thank you)). She's very happy with it.

Apples stuff is cute, but if it doesn't have the features I want, I ain't buying.

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Coffee/keyboard

What!?

You mean to tell me they can fit a radio into that little thing? I must be getting old!

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Badgers

iPod Nanny

Just a guess but I'd wager the iPods all use common chips for the best pricing. Now, seeing that the nano has FM with time shifting, it only makes sense that other models would have the same part inside, if it's currently used is another matter. I'm certain if we wait long enough and if cult members cry for it, we'll see the iPods getting all the same features bit by bit.

The only question left begging is did they ask RIAA when they put in the time-shift bit?

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Gates Horns

FM receiver or transmitter?

okay - so this model of iPhone wont have any of these new features running - that'll be the next version... June next year?

the question is, is the FM functionailty on the iPod designed to receive FM (soon to be defunct with digital switchover and naffly encoded DAB in UK) or is it designed to xmit FM to a nearby device - eg car stereo or any of the soon to be useless-for-anything-else FM radios in the workplace, home etc? the second option would be very useful and cool (and last longer as a feature than the first option).

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Paris Hilton

Not by me...

I've often heard it said that Apple fanbois worship at the feet of Steve Jobs, the biggest cult in the business, although I may have misheard?

Paris, she's got a cult all of her own.

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@Clint Sharp

re: Paris - I'm sorry - did you say, "cult"?

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Headmaster

@Clint Sharp

"Paris, she's got a cult all of her own."

I think you've got the spelling a bit off there.

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@Andy Miller

Er, the new Nano has FM radio. Not that I ever understood exactly why people were buying MP3 players to listen to FM radio anyway.

I brought my wife a feature-packed Sony player a while back to use while jogging. The Sony 'Connect' software was so hideous that the player was effectively un-useable.

Features are only good if they are accessible. You have to give Apple credit for making iPods features very easy to use.

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@GrantB

" Not that I ever understood exactly why people were buying MP3 players to listen to FM radio anyway." - You could say that about any piece of tech with "extra" functions. Why would you buy a telephone to listen to mp3's, play games, take video, watch films?

Anyway, I too made the same mistake by buying a Sony mp3 player. Connect software effectively ruined the machine. I dreaded it when my wife asked me to add some more music to the player. It also had a green "floating" oled screen which was really striking, except if you tried reading it outdoors. Lying by the pool on holiday, you had to cover your head with a towel to create enough darkness to read the screen. Great (grate) design Sony!

Paris - Because she's designed with only one function.

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Are we still talking about FM radio?

Are Apple still in the stone age or something? There's been an FM radio in everyone one of the far superior Cowon devices I've been buying for years.

I wonder if they'll advertise it as "FM radio - only...on the iTouch!" They seem quite happy to use that BS with the iPhone.

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@Greg J Preece

If you really think that the cowon devices are superior, then you really need to ask yourself what the company is doing wrong when it can't sell a device that has (according to you) a better spec than an iPod. Maybe it is you that is wrong and the iPods are actually a better deal all-round?

As for the negative tone at the end of the article, and in some of the comments - MS builds things for backwards compatibility, and does it badly. Here we have evidence that Apple are building things with genuine forwards-compatibility and you are COMPLAINING about it? WTF?

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@Eddy Ito: Woo hoo...

...Apple actually got round to putting a $0.40 FM radio chip (*) inside their new Nano? About **** time too!

The omission of a radio is a major shortcoming in my 3G Nano, and the reason I would have bought another brand of MP3 player if I hadn't been given it as a present. (Don't get me wrong- it's a good MP3 player, but it's not *that* good.)

I've heard stories that Apple didn't include a radio in earlier iPods because (for example) Americans don't like the radio much- probably true, given the state of their radio and TV- or (more interestingly) that people would think they were being charged much more for a radio they might not ever use, even if in reality it only cost pennies to include.

More cynically, this would then explain why they (a) sell the radio separately and (b) charge around £35 for it combined a separate remote-control lead, even though I've heard its performance is mediocre at best.

I wouldn't know, because I'm not even considering it at that price. Still, the fact that some people will spend £20 for some useless "socks" for their iPod proves there's a market for almost any overpriced Apple cack.

(*) Yeah, fair guess. I can buy a *complete* auto-scan FM radio at retail for a quid, and apparently Wal-Mart in the US sells them for a dollar each. While I had problems with mine, the reception when it did work was actually good, suggesting that the core chip is okay.

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Welcome

@Eddy Ito: Woo hoo... #

"I've heard stories that Apple didn't include a radio in earlier iPods because (for example) Americans don't like the radio much- probably true"

Many of my friends turned off FM radio years ago - most Americans I know prefer to listen to AM radio now over FM.

Content is more for the mind on AM than what is being fed by the hippies on FM - Americans are increasing involved in the participation age with AM talk radio!

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@The First Dave

"If you really think that the cowon devices are superior, then you really need to ask yourself what the company is doing wrong when it can't sell a device that has (according to you) a better spec than an iPod. Maybe it is you that is wrong and the iPods are actually a better deal all-round?"

Yeah.... Let's play Spot the Idiot:

Apple's 2008 Marketing Budget: $468 million (not sure what % of this is in the UK)

Cowon's Marketing Budget in the UK: $0;

Do the math, you berk. And if they can't sell them to people they're not even advertising to, how do I have one?

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@shaunm

You forgot step six: Charge to download the firmware update to enable the new feature, citing some bogus legal case which supposedly prevents them from giving away the new feature for free.

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iPod Nano 5th Gen

Just bought one of these. To be honest, it seems like the mutt's nuts. The VGA video camera is more than adequate; the radio is good; iTunes is probably the best software for getting content onto such a device(I have a Sony mobile phone and their software sucks). This is my first iPod and I'm well impressed. There's a good chance I will upgrade to an iPhone at some point soon, when they do one with an OLED screen that is, because the software is so good and there are one helluva lot of software devs writing stuff for it.

N.B. I'm not an Apple fanboi, just a consumer who knows a good deal when he sees it.

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