iPods to integrate with in-flight entertainment

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Apple on Tuesday announced plans to team up with major international airlines including Air France, Continental, Delta, Emirates, KLM and United to integrate iPods with their in-flight entertainment systems. The six airlines will soon offer iPod seat connections to charge and power iPods in-flight, and to allow the iPods to display video content on seat-back monitors.

“We’ve always been successful when we take a behavior that exists and make it better,” Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of worldwide iPod marketing, told Playlist . “And the airlines recognize that the iPod is what their customers are using. It’s on the go, it’s working out, it’s at home, and now it’s in the air.”

Joswiak explained that the airplanes outfitted with iPod connectivity will feature 30-pin dock connectors in the seat. Once they’re plugged in, the systems will charge up the iPod’s battery and provide users with the ability to listen to music. For those aircraft that feature personal seat-back monitors, you’ll be able to watch video from your fifth-generation iPod on the larger screen, too.

Apple said that in-flight iPod connectivity will be available on planes operated by the six airlines beginning in mid 2007. What’s more, Apple is working with Panasonic Avionics to bring more airlines in-flight iPod connections in the future.

“Panasonic is by far the market leader in providing in-flight entertainment systems,” said Joswiak. “Each year over 100 million passengers fly in airplanes with their systems installed. Their marketshare is about 70 percent of the in-flight entertainment market.”

Editor’s note: Updated 11:10 AM with comments from Apple’s Greg Joswiak.

This story, "iPods to integrate with in-flight entertainment" was originally published by PCWorld.

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