When the iPod touch 2G first came out, one feature that was the subject of numerous rumors was Bluetooth compatibility. The addition of Bluetooth would allow wireless stereo headphones and other cool gadgets to connect to the device.
Instead, users got Nike+, a curious joint venture from Nike and Apple which used the same 2.4 GHz spectrum. Apple insisted at the time that Bluetooth was not on the iPod touch and that Nike+ didn't use Bluetooth.
Teardowns late last year, though, told a different story. The teardown revealed a Broadcom Bluetooth chipset with support for 2.1+EDR. The chipset, not listed on Apple's spec sheet, was apparently being used to implement Nike+. Some argued that there must be some hardware difference; Apple wouldn't just lock out working functionality.
Well, they were wrong -- during a Q&A session at the iPhone/iPod touch OS v3.0 press event this week, Apple let slip that Bluetooth is indeed on the iPod touch and that it intentionally crippled it. The revelation came when some inquisitive bloggers noted that A2DP, wireless accessory control and peer-to-peer connections -- key features of the new OS -- all required Bluetooth. Apple's Greg Joswiak confirmed what many suspected, admitting that Bluetooth on iPod Touch 2Gs can be "unlocked" via an OS update.
Some are accusing Apple of intentionally crippling this key piece of iPod touch hardware as a ploy to sell its new OS. Apple is offering the new OS free to iPhone customers, but its charging iPod touch customers $9.99 to upgrade and receive the complementary Bluetooth unlock.
quote: you don't design & add chips you wont need it costs to much.
quote: Here's a question: If Intel sent out an email to everyone who bought an Core 2 Duo E4300 saying for an extra $10 we'll unlock the disabled extra 1MB of cache and bump the clock speed up to 2.5ghz, would everyone be as mad as they are at Apple?
quote: However about the Bluetooth, if for instance... Microsoft had a Bluetooth module in it's Xbox 360, but it was disabled, and released an update that you had to pay 1000 gamer points to activate it, everyone would be annoyed, and would jump up and down, why should this be any different?
quote: The same America that gets branded AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint locked bloatware phones is now complaining that Apple implements its own Bluetooth functionality and prevents you from getting full access.
quote: There is absolutely no reason for Apple to intentionally hobble something from months that would be a selling point for the device.
quote: Apple couldn't get it done the way Apple wanted it to be done before this software release. Period.)
quote: The deal with Nike, plus the increased accessories sales such as car adapters for those with BT sync could be reason enough.
quote: Its also nothing like Push email, or copy and paste. Now if Push email and copy and paste were already coded in OS2 but disabled by Apple until now, then sure, the situations would be comparable.
quote: I just don't believe that, BT is not the most complicated thing in the world. Furthermore it was only partially disabled (i.e they already have it working), only headset sync is allowed, all other features have been disabled by Apple.
quote: And just so you know, the same thing happened back in the day with Verizon and the Motorola V710, and guess what, they got sued and there was almost a successful class action suit because of it.