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Monday, January 29, 2007, 03:00 pm PT (06:00 pm ET)

Apple to grow iPod line slightly, sources say

Apple Computer is expected tack a new model onto its industry leading line of iPod digital music players as early as Tuesday, AppleInsider has learned.

Details are admittedly scarce, but people familiar with the matter say the new model will likely represent a slight variation of the Cupertino-based firm's existing offerings rather than a breakthrough new product.

Specifically, those people say the announcement will add a new color (or edition) of an existing iPod. Neither the particular color or iPod model were readily available.

Educated speculation points to a variety of possibilities ahead of the Valentine's Day holiday, such as a (PRODUCT) RED iPod shuffle, pink or RED fifth-generation video iPod, or branded special edition iPod. However, a most likely scenario would appear to be the addition of a 2GB (PRODUCT) RED iPod nano to round out the company's existing 4GB and 8GB offerings.

Apple originally introduced the (PRODUCT) RED iPod nano as a single 4GB model in mid-October but quickly expanded the offering to include an 8GB offering just three weeks later.

"Customer response to the iPod nano (PRODUCT) RED Special Edition has been off the charts," Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide iPod Product Marketing, said at the time.

Although the $149 2GB iPod nano remains the most popular model of Apple's best selling iPod line, it's available solely in a monotone silver.

Apple contributes $10 from the sale of each iPod nano (PRODUCT) RED to the Global Fund to help fight HIV/AIDS in Africa. It also sells a $25 iTunes (PRODUCT) RED gift card available for purchase at its Apple's retail and online stores.