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Apple Builds Authentication Into iPod shuffle Earphones?

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There will hopefully be some praise coming Apple's way tomorrow when it details the highly anticipated iPhone OS 3.0 platform, but until then it is time for some more deserved criticism...

Further digging itself into a hole following the ill-thought out new iPod shuffle is talk of some quite simply mind blowing selfishness. Emerging from boingboing, it seems the crazy decision to remove controls from the player itself and put them onto the earphones had another major motivation: cash.
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Apple may yet refute this but it is looking increasingly likely it has implemented an 'authentication chip' into the new inline earphones so that only earphones certified by the company can be used with the player. Consequently no pre-existing inline headphone control adaptors are said to work and the cost of making Apple certified earphones will then inevitably have to be passed onto the end user.

Boingboing even believes it has located the DRM chip itself (shown above) but is unable to verify at this stage.

Of course the bigger question in all this is: with iPods having a near 70 per cent MP3 player market share should this approach be widely adopted in future iPod models then it could, at a stroke, assert massive control over the earphone/headphone sector. It seems implausible that Apple would go this far but then again, it is Apple...

Watch this space.

UPDATE: It's true! Bloggers Engadget managed to chat with V-Moda, a shuffle third party earphone maker and it confirmed an authentication chip is indeed "required to enable to volume control functionality with the new shuffle (as well as the latest gen of iPod and MacBooks)."

Is that four horsemen I see flying above me...?

Link:
via boingboing

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