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Apple Planning £99 iPhone Wireless HDMI Base Unit?

Apple could well be planning a wireless HDMI base unit for the iPhone as part of an extended range of peripherals set to be launched later this year according to a Australian source close to the Cupertino-based company.

It is understood that Apple want to turn the iPhone and the iPod Touch into a major component of an Apple-dominated lounge and will release a number of wireless peripherals to achieve this aim.

Early information points to a dumbed-down version of the Apple TV look-alike which will be equipped with WiFi, Wireless HDMI and Bluetooth capabilities but will lack any internal storage or powerful processor.

Instead, the next iPhone will provide with all the necessary processing power to decode HD content and the storage capacity. Industry Analysts reckon that Apple will launch a 32GB iPhone and potentially a 64GB version for a premium.

The next iPhone is likely to use the Power VR SGX543MP, a dual core GPU released two weeks ago by Imagination Technologies, which received a substantial investment from Apple a few months ago.

The move will provide the smartphone with enough oomph to crunch resource intensive HD footage and even 3D-Intensive content including full-on games.

The current two-year old Apple TV equipped with a 40GB hard disk drive, a 1GHz Pentium M ULV and 256MB memory costs £169 and it is likely that Apple brings the price of the device closer to £100.

It comes with a remote control, HDMI, Component Video, Optical Audio and Analogue RCA stereo audio ports on top of that it comes with a USB port and 802.11n WiFi.

There are also rumours that the iPhone 2009 could come with an improved version of the Palm Pre Touchstone charger which can power a smartphone wirelessly which would make it more than likely that the base unit will also double as a recharging bay.

The next version of the iPhone is expected to be launched in June 2009 and is not expected to feature any killer-feature. Instead, Apple look set to concentrate on ramping up the ecosystem surrounding the iPhone by adding new applications and new peripherals.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.