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Tuesday, November 14, 2006, 05:00 am PT (08:00 am ET)

Apple teams with six major airlines to deliver iPod integration

Apple Computer said Tuesday it is teaming up with Air France, Continental, Delta, Emirates, KLM and United to deliver the first seamless integration between iPod and in-flight entertainment systems.

The six airlines will begin offering their passengers iPod seat connections which power and charge iPods during flight and allow the video content on their iPods to be viewed on seat back displays.

"There is no better traveling companion than an iPod, and now travelers can power their iPods during flight and even watch their iPod movies and TV shows on their seat back displays," said Greg Joswiak, Apple's vice president of Worldwide iPod Product Marketing.

"We're excited to work with Air France, Continental, Delta, Emirates, KLM and United to offer iPod users an even better in-flight experience."

The in-flight iPod connectivity will be available to passengers beginning in mid 2007. Additionally, Apple said it is working with Panasonic Avionics Corporation to bring even more leading airlines in-flight iPod connectivity in the future.

In a press release, the Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple said its iPod ecosystem continues to flourish with more than 3,000 accessories made specifically for the players, ranging from fashionable cases to speaker systems. In addition, more than 70 percent of 2007-model US automobiles currently offer iPod connectivity.

Thus far, Apple has sold nearly 70 million iPods, making it the world's most popular digital music and portable video player. Similarly, the iTunes Store is the number one online music store with over 1.5 billion songs purchased and downloaded worldwide.

iTunes Store customers can shop a catalog that includes 3.5 million songs, 65,000 podcasts, 20,000 audiobooks, 5,000 music videos, 250 television shows and over 100 movies from Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar, Touchstone Pictures and Miramax Films.

In October, Apple also began selling a $59 MagSafe Airline Power Adapter that plugs it into an airline seat power port, allowing its MacBook or MacBook Pro notebooksto maintain power for the full duration of a flight.