COMPUTER industry insiders believe that Apple is preparing for a Christmas sales battle with the ultimate handheld device: an iPod that lets you download on the move and doubles as a phone. The next upgrade of the iPod, of which 50 million have been sold, is expected to be capable of transfering audio and video MP3 files to the music player without wires. The use of wi-fi chips in the players would bypass the need for a computer, allowing users to download music directly from their wireless internet connection.
There are thousands of wireless "hotspots" across Britain which could be used to transfer files. Some analysts are also predicting that the Californian computer company is preparing a "wireless" iPod that could also incorporate a phone, the ultimate converged device. Speculation about the product comes as rumours intensify that Microsoft will be unveiling its own device with a wi-fi chip, dubbed the "iPod killer".