PortalPlayer Losing Apple's iPod Business?

Discussion in 'MacRumors News Discussion (archive)' started by MacRumors, Apr 20, 2006.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    PortalPlayer chips has been at the heart of the iPod since the very beginning and the company has grown substantially because of it. 90% of PortalPlayer's sales are said to be directly due to iPod sales.

    According to an announcement today, PortalPlayer revealed that their successor to their current PP5021 media processor chip will not be used by Apple in "its new mid-range and high-end flash-based iPods."

    Meanwhile, PortalPlayer believes the current chip "will continue to be used in other members of the iPod family."

    Apple's current Flash-based iPods include the iPod shuffle and iPod nano.
  2. macrumors regular


    Mar 24, 2004
    Auckland, NZ
  3. ATG
    macrumors regular

    Aug 7, 2005

    Does the new high end flash iPod refer to the nano or something else? I never really thought of the nano as high end.
  4. macrumors G3


    Apr 30, 2004
    maybe apple are leaning toward creating their own controller, and saving money..
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2004
    Seems like the most believable solution I can think of.
  6. macrumors member

    Dec 20, 2003
    And being able to design and possibly patent new features without other companies being able to purchase the controllers for their own mobile devices.
  7. macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2006
    either they might use intel chips for the future or don't expect any wi-fi/bt enabled ipods for a while!
  8. macrumors regular


    Mar 24, 2004
    Auckland, NZ
    Come to think of it, just because the successor of the current chip wont be used in the next ipod, doesn't mean that PortalPlayer is losing Apple's Business.
    Perhaps a higher end chip from PortalPlayer will be in the next ipod?
    It would make sense if Apple continues to add features. The current interface is too laggy for my liking anyway. Not Snappy enough.
  9. macrumors regular


    Mar 24, 2004
    Auckland, NZ
    How about these chips in the next ipod?

    "Intel finally unveils low-voltage chips - April 19, 2006"


    "The Ultra Low Voltage Core Solo chips consume only 5.5 watts of power when running at their maximum"

    The specs seem too high for just an ipod though...maybe a true 720p HD video ipod..
  10. macrumors 68000


    Jan 12, 2006
    Hmmm 720p works for me :D .
    I tell you, we will get that 8 pounder Steve told us in "Super Secret Apple Rumors" :eek:
  11. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 12, 2005
    California, US
    I wasnt aware that apple had a high end flash player. The Nano is mid and the shuffle is low. There is no high end flash player. Then again, this does say "future products"! Possible leak :confused: Does not add up though.
  12. macrumors 65816


    Oct 8, 2004
    lat: 55.7222°N, long: 13.1971°E
    This could indicate that the new high-end iPods will have additional features. I wonder what that would be...hmmm... cellphone? :)
  13. macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2006
    I agree, but this is a rather interesting article on The Register. Have a read:


  14. macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    lol I like that thing. Do you mean the iPod with 7 inch screen SJ talked about at his demo of podacsting in Garage Band?
  15. macrumors 68030

    Analog Kid

    Mar 4, 2003
    It's referring to Apple's mid and high end flash players, not how they compare with the market in general. My guess is that this means Nano and Apple is cost reducing the unit by going with another source.

    I really doubt Apple will go with a self made processor. Doesn't make sense... They can easily get a third party to build whatever Apple would want for this trophy product and not have to assume the risk.

    I'm sure that's why Apple never just bought PortalPlayer-- they wanted this kind of flexibility. They've never seen the processor as a differentiator.

    Still waiting to see Xscale in the iPod. Probably not in the Nanos, but in the HDD based units.
  16. macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    Why the laugh? The XScale is an Intel chip that could be adapted for use in an iPod, especially if they wanted better video playback, or some PDA like features. I think it is certainly plausible, if not likely.

    I'd say that while the nano is currently Apple high end flash player, since it uses PortalPlayer chips and being so tightly designed it would be a PITA to redesign for a whole new CPU architecture, that something else could be in the works. Perhaps a "full sized" flash based player with video playback? There are some new flash thumbdrives out there pushing the 30gb point, if I remember the slashdot article correctly.

    EDIT: Just a thought, but it would actually be kinda cool to have a device that is roughly nano sized/shaped but ~2x as thick... with a [GOOD - non cell phone type] camera and wireless connectivity built in. Have 4-6gb of internal media and an SD card slot for expansion... I'd assume the'd have to use another chip that supported camera functions fot such a device.

    Same thing goes for an iPhone, which presumably would be the high end flash player.
  17. macrumors 68040

    Jan 10, 2005
    Uh, that's pretty dumb idea IMO. A full-blown CPU in the iPod?? If there will be something from the Intel-camp in the iPod, I would look out for Xscale.
  18. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 23, 2002
    I have a feeling that Apple wants to move into Flash-based players for their entire lineup ASAP. No more dead HDDs to deal with. Flash is the future, and I agree with the Register article linked above that they'll intro a high-end flash iPod, maybe 10GB, and save the HDD for the touch-screen Video iPod.
  19. macrumors 6502a


    Nov 19, 2003
    I would love to see something with a 1280×720 display that can fit in your pocket :D

    I am sad to see them dumping portalplayer, but it makes sense from a business perspective, as having control of all the components is important for maximizing future revenue. I'd be a bit bummed if I were portalplayer, but I'm sure they'll innovate some new tech for other devices.
  20. macrumors member

    Apr 19, 2006
    If apple used more highend chips in there ipods, and added wireless capabilities or something, then the ipod would be almost like a psp.
  21. macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Wasn't there some new ultra-low-voltage chip capable of decoding at least 640 x 480 H.264 released recently? I seem to recall reading that somewhere... Maybe Apple's trying to find a more powerful video-decoding processor so they can stop selling 320 x 240 crap on the iTMS and at LEAST move up to SD.
  22. macrumors 6502a


    Feb 17, 2006
    Is it maybe a possibility that the new chipset has all sorts of features they have no interest in using, and the current chipset does everything they want? What would be the point of buying more expensive chipsets if the current one does everything you want? This doesn't mean Apple wouldn't add features, just not the ones that PortalPlayer has added.

    Something to think about anyway.
  23. macrumors 6502


    Feb 9, 2006
    Salt Lake City
    That one troubled me as well. Does "high end" refer to the capacity? If so, the 4 GB Nano is the high end flash player--doesn't really make sense. Maybe this is a hint of things to come, though I think most people already expect a 8 GB Nano to be somewhere in the pipeline. Maybe it will have new features that distinguish it somehow.
  24. macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2003
    New York
    I think many of you are missing the main point....

    With PortalPlayer's announcement, it is very likely they are losing 0% of Apple's business.

    PortalPlayer is coming out with a SUCCESSOR to their existing media chip... this successor probably has additional features, tailored for additional media capabilities. It is VERY possible that this chip was specifically developed for APPLE for use in its high-end ipod line (read: iPod video). The high-end FLASH ipods, such as the nano, won't use this SUCCESSOR because they don't need the new features from the new chip.... so the FLASH ipods could continue using PortalPlayers current chips.
  25. macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2002
    Samsung 32gb Flash

    I'm sure in the not to distant future, Apple's deal with Samsung for Flash Memory will come into play with probably a 32GB and a 64GB(2 chips) iPod. As will the use of Leopard's proposed ability to scale down for use on embedded applications, such as Intel's XScale chips (or the new Ultra Low Voltage Core Single Chip). To create an iPod that runs a version of Leopard, plays all your movies and music, and could possibly have VoIP and Cellular phone features.:cool:


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