We're going to have to officially recommend that you don't buy an iPod right now. And not because we've been
drinking that haterade some of you have been hitting a little too hard lately. Nah, it's mainly that there's a good
chance the next version of the iPod which is expected out this fall is going to get a big boost in battery life, so if
you can wait a few months, you probably should.
PortalPlayer, the company that
makes the chipset used in the iPod,
iPod mini, and
iPod photo (another company, SigmaTel, makes the chips
used in the iPod shuffle) has just announced a new
version of their chipset called the PP5022 that is more energy efficient than their current PP5020 chipset (the one
that's currently used in all those iPods). How much more efficient? Supposedly the PPC5022 would make it possible to
make a hard drive-based digital audio player with triple the battery life of a player using the PP5020, which could
conceivably mean an iPod photo that could last as long as 45 hours before it needed recharging (and a battery life of
as long as 54 hours for the new 2G iPod mini). Obviously there are other factors that dictate battery life—Apple
could put in a brighter, crisper, more power-hungry LCD screen, or add wireless connectivity, or decide to use a
smaller battery to make the next generation of iPods even slimmer—but improving the battery life of the iPod has been
one of their top priorities for a long time now, so it's hard not to see them switching to this new chipset sooner or
later. Apple, not surprisngly, is keeping quiet about their plans.
UPDATE: Look, if you're looking to buy an iPod, don't let us stop you, all we're saying is that there is a good chance that Apple will put this new PortalPlayer chipset in the next version of the iPod, and we're perfectly cool with waiting to find out.