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Revised Apple iSights, Extreme base stations due soon

Apple Computer in a few weeks is expected to bring its AirPort Extreme base station and iSight video-cam products up to compliance with an environmental directive that has for the last three months barred their sale overseas.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based Mac maker was forced to discontinue the sale of both offerings in Europe earlier this summer because they failed to comply with the RoHS directive adopted by the European Union in 2003.

The directive, which went into effect on July 1, prohibits the sale of electronics that contain hazardous materials such as lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium and brominated flame retardants.

While Apple halted new orders for the two products in Europe on June 23, it continued to sell existing inventory in the United States and other parts of the world during the weeks that followed. However, the company has long since exhausted its supply of AirPort Extreme base stations and most recently began pulling remaining inventory of iSights from its stores ahead of revised models.

"Apple corporate directed its stores to pull all iSights from the selling floor and had them shipped back to corporate," a person familiar with the matter told AppleInsider this week.

According to Apple's online store, the company will resume shipments of the iSight in "October." Meanwhile, its AirPort Extreme base station will begin shipping to customers in about "3-5 weeks."

Apple's eMac all-in-one desktop computer and iPod shuffle External Battery Pack also fell victim to the RoHS directive earlier this summer and were removed from sale in Europe. Within a week, the eMac's slot in Apple's product line was replaced by a $899 version of the 17-inch all-in-one iMac.

It's unclear if the iPod shuffle External Battery Pack will see a revision.