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Friday, April 13, 2007, 07:50 am PT (10:50 am ET)

Apple's iPod may gain Wi-Fi by holidays

Apple plans to launch new iPods featuring Wi-Fi during the second half of 2007, according to a report at DigiTimes, the same publication which first reported that Apple would be forced to push out Leopard's release until October.

In a brief posting, the Taiwanese rumor publicized cited "portable music player component makers" who say that Universal Scientific Industrial (USI) has been contracted by the Cupertino-based iPod maker to produce the Wi-Fi modules and that Foxconn will act as the OEM system assembler.

USI will reportedly begin the first shipments of its Wi-Fi modules to Apple later this month, while Foxconn isn't expected to deliver the completed players until the third quarter, which runs July - September.

DigiTimes's report is somewhat in line with expectations published by AppleInsider over the course of the past few months. Sources initially reported that three distinct iPod models lie on Apple's roadmap for 2007, later adding that one of those players —- a next-gen video iPod — was tracking for a third quarter release.

Thus far, Microsoft's Zune has led the way to increasing development of Wi-Fi portable music players, with Creative and SanDisk most recently showcasing such players at the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show. According to DigiTimes, Samsung and Sony are also planning to offer similar products in the near future.