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Wolfson audio chips not in Apple's next iPods?

Posted: 31 Mar 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Apple iPod? Wolfson audio chips? iPhone?

Scotland-based Wolfson Microelectronics is believed to have lost out in its bid to supply Apple's next-generation iPods with audio chips.

In an update of revenue expectations for the rest of the year, the company merely said it has been notified that "its product has not been selected by a major Tier 1 customer for inclusion in the next generation of its portable media players, expected to be launched during the third quarter of 2008. However, Wolfson continues to have a strong relationship with this customer as an important supplier for its other high-growth product areas."

Despite the reassurances, the company saw its shares fall significantly on March 27 on the London exchange.

The high-growth product mentioned is widely assumed to be the iPhone, though Wolfson would not confirm this. Neither would it confirm the products for which it had not been chosen were the iPod Touch and the next version of the iPod Nano.

Analysts suggested Cirrus Logic had been chosen to supply the audio chips instead for these devices.

Despite this blow, the company said revenues from applications other than portable media players would mitigate the loss in revenues. It added: "Wolfson remains confident in achieving growth in 2008 and currently anticipates full-year revenue consistent with market expectations. Looking beyond the current year, Wolfson remains confident in its future prospects and its strategic imperative of pursuing double-digit revenue growth."

The company said it still expects revenues for Q1 to be in the range $44million to $48million, and will announce its Q1 results on April 24. Wolfson presently makes chips for Apple's iPod music player. Other customers included Canon, Hewlett Packard, LG, Microsoft, Samsung, Sony and TomTom.

The company stressed it anticipates strong growth for its mixed-signal devices from other application areas, including handsets and GPS systems that would mostly mitigate the loss of revenues from MP3 players.

- John Walko
EE Times Europe

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