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Tuesday, November 21, 2006, 10:00 am PT (01:00 pm ET)

Briefly: Black iPod nano sales trail the pack

When it comes to digital music players, consumers are expressing a reluctance to bite at Apple's "black tax," which has thus far translated into slow sales of the company's $249 black iPod nano.

For the most part, shoppers have been unwilling to plunk down the extra $50 for the black-colored player, which boasts 8 Gigabytes (GB) of storage capacity but is otherwise identical in functionality to a multi-colored array of 4GB models that sell for just $199.

Based on a series of checks, Apple's most popular second-generation iPod nano is its $199 silver 4GB model, followed closely by the similarly colored 2GB player at $149. Next in line at the checkout counters are $199 blue and green 4GB nanos, which consumers are pocketing at a comparable rate.

Apple's $199 pink 4GB iPod nano is the least popular candy-colored model, while sales of the 8GB black player trail all other second-generation iPod nano models. The subdued demand for the high-end nano suggests most customers are willing to forgo the black-color and extra 4GB of space in order to save $50 on iPods that don't sport video capabilities.

It's unclear where the (PRODUCT) RED iPod nanos fall into the mix, as the players are relatively new and sold exclusively by Apple (and select Wal-Mart retail stores). However, early indications are that demand for the 4GB model has been robust, with some Apple retail stores facing issues in keeping the players on the shelves.

Citing an "off the charts" response to $199 player, Apple earlier this month added an 8GB model, of which AppleInsider is still seeking sales data.

Apple donates $10 from the sale of each (PRODUCT) RED iPod nano to the Global Fund to help fight HIV/AIDS in Africa.