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Tuesday, October 19, 2004, 05:45 am PT (08:45 am ET)

Apple to offer special edition U2 iPod?

Apple and U2 will reportedly team up to sell a special edition iPod promoting the band's forthcoming album.

Apple may announce a new special edition U2 iPod promoting the band's forthcoming album at next week's Special Music Event by Apple and U2, according to a report by Forbes.

The publication cites sources close to U2 and says "the digital music player will come preloaded with the band's new album, How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, along with portions of the Irish supergroup's 25-year catalogue. The iPods will be black and will be made available the same week as the band's 11th studio album, which is slated to be released in the U.S. by Universal Music Group's Interscope Records on November 23."

The reports says the custom iPods are part of a larger agreement, which will give Apple exclusive rights to sell all the songs from the new album online through its iTunes Music Store for at least the first few weeks following the release. U2 and Interscope will reportedly split a standard royalty for each song downloaded, plus an upfront licensing fee.