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Friday, December 03, 2004, 05:00 pm PT (08:00 pm ET)

iPod mini revision to deliver storage increase

A revision to Apple Computer's popular iPod mini digital music player is scheduled to debut early next year, AppleInsider has learned.

According to reliable sources, the iPod mini will see an approximate 25% storage increase that will allow it to carry 1250 songs, up from the player's current maximum capacity of 1000 songs.

Like Dell's new Pocket DJ and Rio's Carbon, sources say the new Apple player will be based around a 5GB hard drive. Hitachi, which supplies Apple with drives for the current line of iPod minis, has yet to officially introduce a 5GB version of its microdrive, though similar offerings are reportedly available from both Seagate and Toshiba.

Capacity figures aside, not much more is known about the revised mini. Rumors of potential color alterations and more 'metallic' finishes are abound, but remain unconfirmed at this time.

Apple introduced the iPod mini in January of 2004 to much fan-fare, but was unable to meet demand for the players until the second half of the year, due to poor planning and inadequate supplies of the 4GB microdrives from component supplier Hitachi.

It's likely for this same reason that Apple has never divulged its sales figures for the iPod mini, claiming only to have sold over 6 million total iPods since the original player launched in 2001.

"They've learned from past mistakes with the mini," said one insider, who expects an ample supply of the revised players to be waiting in a warehouse prior to their unveiling.

Also in early 2005, Apple is expected to launch a flash-based iPod that will sell for below (US)$200.