iPod joins airlines' entertainment systems


CUPERTINO, Calif. -- Apple Computer Inc. said Tuesday its iPod media players will be integrated with the in-flight entertainment systems of six airlines.

Passengers on UAL Corp.'s United Airlines, Continental Airlines Inc. and Delta Air Lines Inc., as well as Dubai-based Emirates, Dutch carrier KLM and Air France, will be able to power and charge their iPods during flights and watch video content from their iPods on seat-back displays.

The service will be available on the airlines beginning in mid-2007. It will likely help solidify the iPod's dominance in portable players.

The in-flight deals are similar to ones Apple has made with more than a dozen automakers to have iPod-compatibility built into car audio systems. The auto deals, which include General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co., mean more than 70% of the new vehicles sold in the United States this year will have iPod integration, according to Apple.

Nearly 70 million iPods have been sold since its debut in 2001.