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Friday, November 11, 2005, 08:30 am PT (11:30 am ET)

Latest iPod nanos ship with protective sleeve

Although it has denied that the iPod nano is more susceptible to scratches than any other iPod model, Apple's latest shipments of the ultra-thin digital music player include a new protective sleeve.

The soft fabric sleeve is nearly identical to the one included with Apple's new fifth-generation video iPod, only scaled down to fit the nano snugly. Apple previously did not ship any protective casing with nano, which was introduced in September.

Last month, consumers upset about easily scratched or marred iPod nanos filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple, demanding their money back plus a share of the company’s profits.

The suit was later extended when consumers from the United Kingdom and Mexico filed a similar class-action lawsuit against the company in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

Word that Apple — under pressure from the suit — would begin including protective sleeves with the nano was first revealed in a previous AppleInsider report.

Rumor also has it that Apple has instructed its iPod nano manufacturing partner Hon Hai to include an additional layer of protective coating on the latest batch of nanos.

Sources who continue to file accurate reports have said that iPod maker is prepared to ship between 3 and 4 million nanos each month for the three-month period ending December 31st.