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Friday, August 24, 2007, 05:15 pm PT (08:15 pm ET)

iPod supply dwindles as likely Apple event nears

A rumored September 5th special event that would bring new iPods is becoming increasingly likely after checks with multiple sources, AppleInsider has learned.

A verification of the claims from Ars Technica regarding the occasion suggests that Apple has indeed committed to holding the event on the specified date, barring unforeseen circumstances. The presentation is being held on a Wednesday, rather than Apple's habitual Monday or Tuesday, in order to accommodate the Labor Day weekend.

While the list of what would be released at the event is less certain, the report points to at least one new iPod being announced during the event. AppleInsider's own sources maintain that supplies of fifth-generation iPods and iPod nanos have been extremely low or non-existent at high-profile dealers, including Best Buy. This was a strong sign that Apple was clearing channel inventory ahead of completely new replacements, the insiders said.

Recent reports from these sources add that stock of the music players won't be replenished for at least another two weeks, which coincides with the immediate aftermath of the probable Apple event.

And while most of the details of the iPods themselves are unknown, people familiar with the late summer iPod updates claim that as many as four iPod models could be made available within coming weeks, the majority of which would be based on NAND flash memory rather than the hard disks used in fifth-generation models. The direct replacements for the fifth-generation iPod and the iPod nano are said to rely on a heavily modified version of Mac OS X.

Recently, alleged images of the model expected to replace the iPod nano have circulated the web, revealing what appears to be a widened second-generation iPod nano with a larger screen, softer versions of today's nano shell colors, and tapered edges. In most cases, the images have since been pulled at the request of Apple's legal team, though the accuracy of the images is still in dispute.

Investigations into other potential candidates for the September 5th announcements hint at a possible expansion of licenses for iTunes content outside the US, but were unconfirmed as of press time. Apple had promised to deliver movies and other video content to iTunes Stores outside the US sometime in 2007.