The iPod Shuffle Tax

The other day I wrote about the release of the new iPod Shuffle and how in its efforts to make the music player even smaller Apple had moved the controls to the ear bud cable. At that time I pointed out how I thought this was a bad idea because it would incur additional costs for the user should they want to use non-Apple earbuds.

Well it turns out that in order for third party manufacturers to bring compatible headphone sets to market they are going to have to fork over an Apple Tax. This tax comes in the form of an Apple-licensed authentication chip that will be required by all 3rd party manufacturers of iPod Shuffle compatible headsets.

This tax will of course be passed on to the consumer with suggested prices of headsets starting at $19 and reaching $49.99 for the handful of VoiceOver-compatible headphones. So far the response from various Apple related blogs has been less than enthusiastic over this news with iLounge calling it a nightmare scenario and Engadget referring to it as a sad new low.

[hat tip to Crave – cnet]