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Apple to add Bluetooth to iPods, car audio device to follow?

Apple will soon introduce an iPod with Bluetooth wireless capabilities, according Bogdan Nedelcou, an automobile product manager for Motorola.

In an interview with Radio France, Nedelcou let it slip that consumers will soon be able to broadcast music wirelessly from their iPod through their car speakers. Similarly, he said that users will be able to answer incoming phone calls without having to operate their mobile phone handset.

Both tips apparently reference an upcoming device for automobiles, which will include a dock or 'pod' that will allow both an iPod with Bluetooth and a mobile phone device to communicate with car stereos. It's unclear if the device is Apple or Motorola-based.

According to a description provided by Nedelcou, when a Bluetooth phone receives a call, the device will switch the automobile's audio stream from the iPod's music over to the phone's audio feed. A hands-free Bluetooth accessory will reportedly handle outgoing communication.

In November, AppleInsider was first to report on a patent filing that provides incontrovertible evidence that Apple has been experimenting with wireless iPods.

"One aspect of the media player system pertains to a docking station that allows a media player to communicate with other media devices," the filing said. "Another aspect of the media player system pertains to a wireless media player system that includes a hand held media player capable of transmitting information over a wireless connection and one or more media devices capable of receiving information over the wireless connection."

Apple filed for the patent, which includes imagery, on April 25, 2003. The document credits the technology to Anthony Fadell, Stephen Zadesky, and John Benjamin.

Last year AppleInsider also noted that the company was seeking new members for its iPod hardware engineering division that have experience in integrating both various wireless communication technologies as well as video.

In the near future, Motorola is also expected to debut its first 'official' iTunes-ready mobile phone, which will sport both flash-based memory storage and Bluetooth wireless connectivity.