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Friday, August 27, 2004, 06:00 am PT (09:00 am ET)

HP iPod: white and silver, extra features?

Contrary to popular belief and original demonstrations of the player earlier this year, the Hewlett-Packard iPod will debut in attire very similar to Apple's version of the player.

According to Hewlett-Packard's shopping website, the HP iPod will sport a white and silver enclosure rather than the blue skin demoed by the computer maker earlier this year.

An article write-up in today's Wall Street Journal also claims that HP's iPod will include "different hardware features" to further distinguish it, although no details were provided.

HP has already begun to take pre-orders for the digital music players on HPShopping.com, selling 20GB and 40GB versions for US$299.99 and $399.99 respectively, the same price as Apple. The company also said the iPod would be available at Circuit City, CompUSA, Best Buy, Office Depot, Staples, Radio Shack, Fry's, Amazon.com and Costco.

HP will debut a new advertising campaign to launch the music player during the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday, Aug. 29. The campaign will feature ads directed by Music video producer Paul Hunter, the company said.

Hewlett-Packard and Apple first announced plans to ship an HP version of the iPod back in January. HP is expected to officially introduce the new players during a press event at 10:00 AM Eastern Time today.

Meanwhile, at least one analyst expects HP's version of the iPod to "outsell Apple's version relatively quickly" due to the company's "broad distribution at electronics retailers."