iPod mini hits Apple Stores this Friday, 100K on order

Apple announced Tuesday that its iPod mini, first introduced to crowds at January's Macworld Expo in San Francisco, Calif., will be available in Apple retail stores and at Apple authorized resellers this Friday, February 20, 2004. What's more, the company also confirmed that more than 100,000 pre-orders have been made for the credit card-sized MP3 player.

The iPod mini sports a smaller design than the larger iPod -- 3.6 x 2.0 x 0.5 inches and 3.6 ounces, compared to 2.4 x 4.1 x 0.62 inches and 5.6 ounces for the larger device. The iPod mini features a body made out of anodized aluminum available in five different colors -- silver, gold, pink, blue and green.

The US$249 iPod mini can hold 4GB, or about 1,000 songs. The iPod mini has been criticized for its price compared to the entry-level iPod -- $50 separate the two, but the 15GB iPod can hold almost four times as much content. So the 100,000 unit pre-order news may surprise some who thought the miniature iPod wouldn't sell.

Apple senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing Philip Schiller calls response to the iPod mini "off the charts." He downplayed the iPod mini's capabilities against its larger sibling, instead comparing the device to premium-priced flash media-based players.

"iPod mini costs only about $50 more than a 256MB flash-based player, yet it holds 16 times the music, is smaller, is easier to use and provides superior audio," said Schiller.

The iPod mini includes your choice of silver, gold, pink, blue or green, and includes a belt clip, headphones, power adapter, FireWire and USB cable, and software. iPod mini for Mac and Windows goes on sale in the U.S. this Friday, and will be available worldwide starting in April.

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