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Apple Teams Up With Air France, Continental, Delta, Emirates, KLM & United to Deliver iPod Integration

The headline is lifted straight from Apple's site, and tells the story pretty accurately: Apple has made agreements with several airlines to build iPod integration into the seat back entertainment systems on passenger planes.

Due to debut in 2007, this system sounds awesome (for iPod owners, anyway) due to its total integration. You can charge your iPod in your seat's dock, while the seat-back display screen will play your iPod movies! No word on whether the system will support multiple media formats other than what Apple sells on the iTunes store, but presumably for the system to work well enough that people will actually use it they would have to support whatever iPod supports.

And so the iPod "ecosystem" grows and grows. Some have speculated that the days of iPod are waning, but with the integration of iPod into cars, multiple gadget accessories, and now airplanes, perhaps those prognostications are a bit premature.

It's almost as if the iPod is slowly evolving from a product line into a de facto standard for digital media integration at the consumer level. While individual superior mp3 players might come along, their success will be affected by whether or not they can play within this ecosystem.

Maybe I'm too excited about this, but if you're not at least a little interested in this development, then perhaps you haven't been wedged in the middle seat on an 8-hour flight. The entertainment system is sometimes all you've got if you are travelling light. Perhaps you didn't bring or can't get to your laptop; this integration will bring your choice of movies or TV shows to your seat with very little fuss.

Posted on November 14, 2006 | Permalink | Tag this post with del.icio.us | This Post Now Lives Here


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