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Future Apple handhelds to support HD Radio?

updated 01:30 pm EDT, Thu June 17, 2010

Patent application backs earlier reports

Apple could be preparing to add HD Radio support to new handheld models, a newly-published patent application hints. Titled Digital Radio Tagging Using an RF Tuner Accessory, the document suggests that future iPods and iPhones could be used to scan through all available radio stations, or only those with better-quality digital audio. Critically, data from digital stations could used as search fodder, for instance to locate a particular song or genre.

The filing also suggests tagging tracks for later buying, essentially a reference to the iTunes Tagging feature already available on the fifth-generation iPod nano and various third-party radios. HD Radio support could involve a connection to an external receiver, or else a car's stereo system.

The application could also potentially back information from a Wall Street Journal report in November 2009. At the time Apple was said to be in negotiations with iBiquity, the company behind HD Radio, with the hope of building HD Radio receivers directly into iPhones and iPod touches. Neither device currently has any form of radio tuner, though the Touch could conceivably gain one in its fall update. Even the iPhone 4, launching June 24th, must rely on accessories or Internet radio instead.

by MacNN Staff



  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Apple has for years told us there was no need for Radio.

    The only reason to add such a thing is if they fall into the trap of "We've got to keep adding features to get people to upgrade!" pit. (Or is it the "We've got to add features to warrant keeping the price high!" pit?)

    And at that point, you're just as bad as all the rest, who people complain about having features for the sake of having them.

  1. Geoduck

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not likely

    Having a radio would reduce the amount of music people get from the iTunes store. I just don't see Apple doing that.

    Of course I cannot think of any feature they might put on a handheld that I want LESS than an HD radio.

  1. Fast iBook

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Might be nice....

    It might be nice as an external accessory, but my primary everyday source for music will still be my (120 gig) iPod, not even my iPhone.... I just can't warrant the wear on the wired headset and drain on phone battery, not to mention i have over 12 gigs of music that i listen to, and my current iPhone is 8 gigs, and the next one will still only be 16........

    - A

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