Apple begins shipping iPod Mini

Apple Computer said Tuesday that it has started shipping its iPod Mini, adding that it has received more than 100,000 preorders for the tiny music player since it was announced last month.

The $249 iPod Mini, which uses a new generation of diminutive hard drive, includes 4GB of storage--enough for about 1,000 songs--and is about the size of a half-inch-high stack of business cards. Like the older, larger iPod, the new version will work with both Macintosh and Windows PCs. "We're definitely excited by the response we've had from customers," iPod product manager Stan Ng said in an interview, referring to the orders individuals placed through Apple's Web site. Apple is still watching to make sure that the iPod Mini doesn't cannibalize sales from the original iPod, but Ng said that so far, it appears to be attracting a new audience. "Does the iPod Mini take away from iPod sales?" Ng said. "What we've seen so far says it really doesn't."

Ng declined to quantify traditional iPod sales since the Mini's announcement, but he said, "It continues to be a very strong seller for us." The new player appears, anecdotally, to appeal more to young people and women than the original iPod. The device also appears to be more popular among the fitness crowd. While some early orders are now shipping, Apple said the Mini, which comes in silver, gold, pink, blue or green, will show up in Apple stores and at authorized retailers at 6 p.m. Friday. The iPod has given Apple a strong market share lead, an edge the company is looking to maintain with the Mini. As of November, the iPod had a 31 percent market share among all MP3 players sold and an even larger share of the hard drive-based music player market. The company sold a record 730,000 iPods last quarter.

News source: C|Net

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