Monday, August 15, 2005, 01:00 pm PT (04:00 pm ET)
Apple optical mouse, 4GB iPod mini on their way out?Two products of Apple Computer are showing signs this month that they may soon be labeled "end-of-life" with no future availability.
Over the weekend resellers reported that Apple had canceled individual backorders for its single-buttoned wired optical Apple Mouse, which currently ships standard with Macintosh desktop systems and was also available for purchase separately.
The $29 mouse also recently disappeared from Apple's online stores, making the new $49 Mighty Mouse the cheapest Apple mouse available for direct order.
It's believed that Apple will continue to ship the single-button optical mouse as part of forthcoming Mac desktop systems for the foreseeable future, allowing customers to upgrade to a Mighty Mouse for an additional charge.
Availability of Apple's $199 4GB iPod mini has also tightened in recent weeks with some resellers now reporting difficulty restocking the product.
Analysts expect Apple to revamp its iPod mini offerings by the third week in September when chief executive Steve Jobs presents at Apple Expo in Paris.
The consensus among analysts and industry sources is that the 4GB iPod mini will be phased out in favor of new 6GB and 8GB models that will likely sport color screens and photo viewing capabilities.
Both Hitachi and Seagate, two suppliers of hard drives for the iPod mini, have recently announced 8GB versions of their 1-inch micro drives.
Update: Readers seeking an original wired optical Apple mouse can still pick one up from Amazon.com, which retains stock of the device for $31 and change.
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