On Tuesday Apple announced that it had struck deals with six airline companies who would offer passengers the ability to hook up their iPods to the in-flight entertainment systems. If you were planning on buying an iPod based on this, hold onto your credit card just yet.
Apple had announced that Air France, Continental, Delta, Emirates, KLM and United would offer iPod seat connections which would power and charge the iPod during flight and allow video content to be viewed on seat-back displays.[poll id=28]
Here's a quote from Greg Joswiak, vice president of worldwide iPod product marketing at Apple:
"There is no better traveling companion than an iPod, and travelers can now power their iPods during flight and watch their iPod movies and TV shows on their seat-back displays."
However, Air France and KLM are now denying that any deal with Apple has taken place. Air France went as far an issuing the following press release:
"Air France [denies] the announcement that a specific connection system to the digital iPod will shortly be installed on Air France planes. Apple is a partner of Air France, but it is far too early to talk about a project such as this."
Apple put the incident down to "miscommunication" - interesting indeed given the proximity of this announcement to Microsoft's launch date for the Zune.
The good news for iPod owners is that the the deal is still on with Continental, Delta, Emirates and United. However, don't get too excited. First off, very few domestic flights have seat-back displays, so don't expect to see iPod connectors there.
On top of that, Delta only plans on offering the service to passengers on flights within the US that take more than four hours while United will only offer iPod connectors in Business and First class on international flights. Continental will fit the iPod connector to coach/economy seats, but plans on limiting them to about 40 airplanes that mainly serve international destinations.
So, if you're planning on making the iPod your traveling companion, make sure you choose your destinations carefully.