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View Full Version : SigmaTel To Supply Next-Gen iPod Shuffle Chip?


MacRumors
May 30, 2006, 10:12 PM
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According to Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Craig Berger (http://www.eetimes.com/news/semi/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=188501107) (reported by EE Times), Apple's next-generation iPod Shuffle will use a SigmaTel media processor chip rather than the previously rumored (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2006/04/20060426223303.shtml) (also by EE Times) Samsung-Apple "PortalPlayer-killer" chip.

Samsung and PortalPlayer were among other competitors for the contract, and according to the analyst, Samsung may have originally won the contract. However, when Samsung announced last month (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2006/04/20060426223303.shtml) that it had secured contracts with Apple for future flash iPods, Berger believes Apple may have had a change of heart.

“It is not surprising that Apple would 'punish’ Samsung for commenting publicly about its position within the iPod Nano follow-on, and we believe that SigmaTel is likely to be the resulting beneficiary of the Samsung executive’s gaffe,” [Berger] added.

Currently, the 5G and iPod Nano use PortalPlayer chips and the Shuffle uses SigmaTel chips. As rumor stands currently, next-gen Shuffles will use SigmaTel chips, Nanos will use Samsung chips. Currently, the 6G iPod contract is unknown, and "true" video iPod contract is rumored (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2006/05/20060503010810.shtml) to be still up in the air. Of note, a recent uncorroborated page 2 rumor (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2006/05/20060519153208.shtml) indicated that the Shuffle was in line to be discontinued.

Superdrive
May 30, 2006, 10:18 PM
Come on, is it really that big of a deal? If Samsung has a better chip, we should be using them. Hopefully this isn't just a punishment...

sushi
May 30, 2006, 10:19 PM
And so goes the world of Apple...

rockthecasbah
May 30, 2006, 10:19 PM
I was under the impression that the Shuffle was being discontinued... I'll be interested if this next gen Shuffle has amazing battery life... if not i could care less.

Anyone know how the Signa-Tel chips are on battery life in comparison to other player's chips, etc?

warcraftmaster
May 30, 2006, 10:23 PM
thats cool. looking forward lost my last shuffle

celebrian23
May 30, 2006, 10:25 PM
I don't understand the importance of this at all :confused:

longofest
May 30, 2006, 10:27 PM
I don't understand the importance of this at all :confused:

It's important to those who have stock in any of the companies involved (i.e. Apple, Samsung, PortalPlayer, SigmaTel). For consumers, it doesn't matter too much. It does, however, indicate even more that that page2 rumor was bogus (and thus was placed well on page 2).

celebrian23
May 30, 2006, 10:31 PM
Ah, thanks for the clarification

Doctor Q
May 30, 2006, 10:33 PM
Punishing Samsung by canceling a contract that was awarded to them based on their being the best choice for reasons of quality, price, production capacity, or other important factors?

I hope not.

longofest
May 30, 2006, 10:38 PM
Punishing Samsung by canceling a contract that was awarded to them based on their being the best choice for reasons of quality, price, production capacity, or other important factors?

I hope not.

Hey... it's the analyst's reasoning not mine :rolleyes:

It very well may turn out that the whole Samsung-Apple chip was only destined for the nano, and ever was intentioned for the Shuffle, and thus SigmaTel never even lost the Shuffle line in the first place (and therefore, Samsung never won it over).

Stridder44
May 30, 2006, 10:50 PM
Punishing Samsung by canceling a contract that was awarded to them based on their being the best choice for reasons of quality, price, production capacity, or other important factors?

I hope not.


Yeah no kidding. That would put Apple's attitude on par with a 5 year old throwing a fit.

Fabio_gsilva
May 30, 2006, 10:57 PM
Well, I still without any iPod...

muffinman
May 30, 2006, 10:59 PM
that was unexpected. i thought shuffles weren't gonna be updated for a long time

swingerofbirch
May 30, 2006, 11:05 PM
I opine that if the Shuffle gains capacity it should gain a screen. Just something simple with artist and track name, even in the casing itself that glows through..forget what that is called

longofest
May 30, 2006, 11:09 PM
I opine that if the Shuffle gains capacity it should gain a screen. Just something simple with artist and track name, even in the casing itself that glows through..forget what that is called

Think you're looking for OLED (organic light emitting diode)...

I'm taking a wait-and-see approach on the shuffle screen. If anything, I think they will want to miniaturize it a bit, which would put a screen out of its reach. I would buy one if it got smaller and reduced by $10. A 1 gig shuffle for $89 that can both play songs and no longer any bigger than a normal memory thumb-drive? Sold.

X5-452
May 30, 2006, 11:09 PM
If they update the shuffle, how would they improve on a nearly flawless design? Battery life alone doesn't warrent an entire upgrade. In terms of low-end, screen-less flash players, the shuffle has it going on. It can't get a screen because it would cannibalize 1GB nano sales. Personally, I think they should drop the 1GB nano and have 2, 4 and either 6 or 8 GB models at the same price points.

In any case, I hope that Apple is still using Samsung, because if the analyst's reasoning is correct, then Apple is being absolutely childish.

lord patton
May 30, 2006, 11:13 PM
If they update the shuffle, how would they improve on a nearly flawless design?

It could be smaller. Some have said it gets in the way of adjacent usb ports. Plus, I think having a rainbow of color options would be cool.

sushi
May 30, 2006, 11:36 PM
It could be smaller. Some have said it gets in the way of adjacent usb ports. Plus, I think having a rainbow of color options would be cool.
Smaller would be good. It does get in the way of other USB devices/slots depending on the computer.

Colors. Hmmm... Maybe they will make the whole line up Black and White.

Then again, a rainbow of colors for the Shuffle would be kind of cool.

What I really wish, is some ability to select among multiple playlists.

chasemac
May 30, 2006, 11:40 PM
I don't understand the importance of this at all :confused:


Page 2?

ColdFlame87
May 31, 2006, 12:00 AM
Smaller would be good. It does get in the way of other USB devices/slots depending on the computer.

Colors. Hmmm... Maybe they will make the whole line up Black and White.

Then again, a rainbow of colors for the Shuffle would be kind of cool.

What I really wish, is some ability to select among multiple playlists.

Muiltiple playlist would be nice, I mean I love the shuffle feature of the shuffle but sometimes i want to listen to a certain song and having to click through hundreds of a songs to get to one can get pretty annoying.

mozmac
May 31, 2006, 12:41 AM
Yes, I wish they would just hurry up already with multiple iPod releases. I've been holding out forever! I don't know if I want to get a shuffle or a Nano. I need a jump drive, but if the Nano is only a little more, it might be worth it. Anyone have ideas of when an announcement could be made?

btfgus
May 31, 2006, 12:43 AM
"Currently, the 6G iPod contract is unknown, and "true" video iPod contract is"


What do they mean my "true" video iPod?:confused:

LostPacket
May 31, 2006, 12:49 AM
I doubt this rumor is correct. Why would Apple punish itself by going to a lesser supplier when they can just add a non-disclosure clause to the contract? If they blab, they pay.

Play Ultimate
May 31, 2006, 12:52 AM
Anyone have ideas of when an announcement could be made?

New iPods next Tuesday?? :rolleyes:


Probably not until October after the Back to College "Buy a Mac, Get an iPod" promotion. And plenty of time for Christmas.

DrEasy
May 31, 2006, 01:56 AM
What I really wish, is some ability to select among multiple playlists.
Yes yes yes! But no screen please, provide a button or mode or triple-click scheme for this!

(I really hope someone at Apple reads these forums: I've been begging for this feature in every thread about the Shuffle :D )

bigandy
May 31, 2006, 03:12 AM
I had assumed from the outset that the Samsung/Apple custom chip was for the Nano and iPod, not the shuffle anyway...

Probably not until October after the Back to College "Buy a Mac, Get an iPod" promotion. And plenty of time for Christmas.

i wish they'd get it wrong, just for a day, and let everyone buy an ipod and get a mac... :rolleyes:

Hattig
May 31, 2006, 05:09 AM
Apple will continue to sell a product that makes them money.

I expect that they will either:

A) Shrink the Shuffle, keep the same battery life
B) Keep it the same size, increase battery life.

The capacities will remain 512MB and 1GB. It will use a lower-power chipset to gain the battery life extension/smaller battery use. It will be offered in white and black - other colours unlikely, maybe red because of those rumours about the AIDS charity thing.

A display is very unlikely in my opinion.

bigandy
May 31, 2006, 05:12 AM
Apple will continue to sell a product that makes them money.

iPod Mini anyone? :rolleyes:

iMeowbot
May 31, 2006, 05:39 AM
that was unexpected. i thought shuffles weren't gonna be updated for a long time
A report that the shuffle will keep using Sigmatel parts kind of is a report that nothing is really changing :)

liketom
May 31, 2006, 05:47 AM
iPod Mini anyone? :rolleyes:
if you still want the mini's you can grab them on the refurb store for 87 :p bargain too.

i was thinking they would flattern the shuffle to look more like the nano and bigger ipod range , with a small screen maybe?

Hattig
May 31, 2006, 06:01 AM
iPod Mini anyone? :rolleyes:
Replaced. Not dropped.

Big difference.

Maybe the new Shuffle will be called iPod Pico, it still would only replace the shuffle in that area of the marketplace.

Rychiar
May 31, 2006, 06:37 AM
iPod Shuffle=an overpriced flash keydrive. Seriously who would want one of these screenless wastes of plastic? Wasn't the nano replacing these? My cell phone has an mp3 player in it that holds just as many songs and it has 2 full color screens and speakers and costs less probably nowadays. I think ill stick with my 6 gig iPod

johnmcboston
May 31, 2006, 06:52 AM
iPod Shuffle=an overpriced flash keydrive. Seriously who would want one of these screenless wastes of plastic?

me for one. There are time sI want to hit play and listen to music. Not spend 10 minutes navigating menus. Something I can easily work while wearing garden gloves or winter gloves and not have to worry about working a click wheel through the ipod skin and a set of gloves. Having Mom be able to use a player without having to go and get her glasses to SEE the tiny menu, never mind trying to understand how to navigate it.

Just because you don't have a use for something doesn't make it useless. I have a proper ipod, but the shuffle is a good second player for a particular need. (cheaper would be nice though).

Sharewaredemon
May 31, 2006, 06:59 AM
me for one. There are time sI want to hit play and listen to music. Not spend 10 minutes navigating menus. Something I can easily work while wearing garden gloves or winter gloves and not have to worry about working a click wheel through the ipod skin and a set of gloves. Having Mom be able to use a player without having to go and get her glasses to SEE the tiny menu, never mind trying to understand how to navigate it.

Just because you don't have a use for something doesn't make it useless. I have a proper ipod, but the shuffle is a good second player for a particular need. (cheaper would be nice though).

A very good point, and I am sure there are a lot of iPod owners who bought a shuffle as a secondary iPod.

I know I did.

bigandy
May 31, 2006, 07:00 AM
if you still want the mini's you can grab them on the refurb store for 87 :p bargain too.
i know, i'm tempted!

Replaced. Not dropped.

Big difference.
i know - it was a little joke.. :rolleyes:

dhc
May 31, 2006, 07:21 AM
Playlist selection is really the only Shuffle upgrade necessary IMO. Size, colour, shape, those adjustments would be nice(potentially), but playlist skipping would be the icing on the cake.

provide a button or mode or triple-click scheme for this!

Di9it8
May 31, 2006, 07:28 AM
What apple should do is to engineer a fully water proof, and dirt proof shuffle, so it can be used in the work environment. Before I lost mine it had been accidentally underwater, without any problem. Just needs a bit of extra engineering. Waiting for the new one :rolleyes:

bizarobot
May 31, 2006, 07:52 AM
Broadcom (http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=172303275) provides the chips for the video iPod. iSuppli dissected one at the end of last year to find this out. Not PortalPlayer, not Sigmatel, not Cypress, not Wolfson.

Gasu E.
May 31, 2006, 07:59 AM
I opine that if the Shuffle gains capacity it should gain a screen. Just something simple with artist and track name, even in the casing itself that glows through..forget what that is called

I agree. The artist and title could just roll by continuously. It would probably only take about 8-12 characters.

johnmcboston
May 31, 2006, 08:00 AM
What apple should do is to engineer a fully water proof, and dirt proof shuffle, so it can be used in the work environment. Before I lost mine it had been accidentally underwater, without any problem. Just needs a bit of extra engineering. Waiting for the new one :rolleyes:

hmmm. That's a good thought. Although I suspect they would asnwer that by saying there are *-proof skins out there you can buy...

- J

iMeowbot
May 31, 2006, 09:54 AM
Broadcom (http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=172303275) provides the chips for the video iPod. iSuppli dissected one at the end of last year to find this out. Not PortalPlayer, not Sigmatel, not Cypress, not Wolfson.

Huh? That iSuppli report notes that there are indeed Wolfson, Portalplayer and Cypress parts in there. link (http://www.semireporter.com/public/11029.cfm)

IJ Reilly
May 31, 2006, 10:38 AM
Not that anyone cares, but both of the stories posted on MR's front page today (this one, and the one about future Intel processors) contained misplaced apostrophes. Both "CPUs" and "Nanos" are plural, not possessive, so no apostrophe is needed before the "s."

No need to discuss. Carry on.

veneficuss
May 31, 2006, 11:41 AM
I would love a shuffle replacement with an OLED display like Sony's overly expensive USB player. I have a Nano but I always seem to be using my shuffle at the gym because I can drop it, bang into it and I don't need to worry about how fragile it is. I also find it easier to skip a song or replay a song if the shuffle is in my jeans pocket. With the Nano its more difficult because if my finger brushed against the click wheel while looking for a button i change the volume. PLUS - no docking cable needed!

The original really was a near flawless design.

Doctor Q
May 31, 2006, 03:26 PM
Not that anyone cares, but both of the stories posted on MR's front page today contained misplaced apostrophes.If you'd like to help, please report typos with the Report Bad Post feature (on the first post of the thread) rather than making posts about typos. We can fix typos, and appreciate hearing about them, but when you post in the thread we might not notice your comment and it makes more work if we want to remove the post after the problem is fixed. Bad Post Reports are the efficient way to let the "staff" know about a mistake.

blueflame
May 31, 2006, 03:51 PM
so what is the point? who cares what chip they use. isnt that kind of the apple philosophy until recently? just make it work
andreas

fblack
May 31, 2006, 04:08 PM
punish samsung?

Well that's a good way of "burning your bridges." I highly doubt this was the reason, its like some one else said itd be childish. Its not like samsung is some tiny company that could be bullied.

milo
May 31, 2006, 05:32 PM
iPod Mini anyone? :rolleyes:

They didn't discontinue it, they replaced it. They might get rid of the shuffle...but only if they replace it with something similar.

I'd like to see them add higher capacities and simply drop prices on current models. A screen doesn't really interest me on a small player.

iPod Shuffle=an overpriced flash keydrive. Seriously who would want one of these screenless wastes of plastic? Wasn't the nano replacing these? My cell phone has an mp3 player in it that holds just as many songs and it has 2 full color screens and speakers and costs less probably nowadays. I think ill stick with my 6 gig iPod

I bought one because it was the best deal for the money when it came out. I still love it, even though there are cheaper (but to me, not necessarily better) alternatives out. If your cell phone is cheaper, that's just because it's subsidized by a service contract, I'd bet if you bought it outright it would be at least a couple hundred bucks.

I agree that just adding an extra button for switching playlists (and obviously holding multiple playlists) would be enough for me.

whooleytoo
Jun 6, 2006, 07:20 AM
Just found this story now - I guess this isn't that surprising, given that Apple did similar when ATI leaked a story about its graphics cards going into the next model of PowerMac. In that case, it was even more extreme - as the ATI leak was the day before the keynote, and thus Apple made the switch at that late stage!