Apple's long-term iPod partner, PortalPlayer, has revealed new plans to develop wireless and mobile technology solutions, generating a new batch of iPod rumours.

WiFi iPods? Possibly

PortalPlayer this week confirmed it was working with Bluetooth chip designer CSR (Cambridge Silicon Radio). The two firms have "joined forces to eliminate the inconvenience of wires on personal media players by adding WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity", a joint statement confirms.

They hope to make it easier to produce iPods and other media players that work with Bluetooth and WiFi.

All eyes on 3GSM as mobile music preps its play

The jointly developed technologies are expected to be available in the second half of 2006. They will offer a WiFi technology demonstration at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, between February 13-17.

WiFi will "simplify the synchronisation of media players with a computer, as well as open up entirely new ways to download and stream content from the internet", they promised. Bluetooth support is expected to lead to a new generation of wireless stereo headsets.

"Adding WiFi means the personal media player is no longer a slave to the PC. Consumers will no longer have to dock their media player to change playlists or add new songs, photos and videos," said Scott Tandy, PortalPlayer's vice president of marketing.

PortalPlayer opens up the mobile market

Yet more news suggests even further future development for the iPods and other media players: this time, PortalPlayer revealed itself to be working to develop new technologies to improve the media capabilities of mobile phones.

Working with wireless soft-modem company, Icera, PortalPlayer confirmed the two companies are "working together to enable a new class of always-connected portable multimedia device".

"The initial technology platform under development by the two companies is a personal media player with an integrated HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) modem. It would deliver an always-connected service, enabling over-the-air browsing and fast download of music and video files through high-speed, cellular broadband networks," the companies confirmed.

This news also suggests a little evolution in the mobile industry. The partners said: "We believe that starting with a proven media player core and adding ultra-power-efficient wireless modem technology, like that from Icera, is the best model for creating successful, connected personal media players."