Blog Post

Wireless iPod Would Make Sense: Qualcomm CEO

Qualcomm chief executive Paul Jacobs has opined that it would be a good idea for Apple to release a wireless iPod now that mobile phones are beginning to compete with portable music players. “It makes sense to me that they would see the phone as potential competition … To me having the wide area (wireless) connection is really a cool thing,” Jacobs said in New York at the Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit.”
Of course, what Jacobs is really saying is that mobile phones with MP3-playing capabilities are better than portable MP3 players. Apple may get away with releasing an iPod with wireless capabilities, but the big issue with competing with mobile handset sales is that mobile handsets are normally subsidized whilst Apple makes money selling hardware…and the carriers are unlikely to subsidize a device that competes with their music service. That being said, ESPN is testing the waters by charging $500 for its phone and if it succeeds it will show there’s a market for unsubsidized handsets…and carriers are keen to get rid of subsidies anyway. In other words, I don’t think a mobile iPod would succeed in today’s market, but the market is changing.