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iPod shuffle sales embargoed ahead of Nov. 3 launch

Apple Computer is looking to stir up a little extra excitement this Friday by orchestrating an official launch of its previously introduced but not-yet-available second-generation iPod shuffle digital music player, AppleInsider learned.

At just over one inch tall, the $79 clip-on device is not only one of the most affordable digital music players to hit the market, but according to Apple, it is also the smallest.

Although the first shipments of the new shuffle are already reported to be in transit to the U.S., people familiar with the iPod maker's plans say a hard launch date for the second-generation player has been set for Friday, Nov. 3.

Apple retail stores and big-box retailers such as Best Buy and Circuit City should begin taking receipt of new shuffles sometime this week but have been instructed not to display or sell the players until Friday, those people say.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple has historically launched new products towards the first half of each business week, but recently saw some success in a Friday launch of its PRODUCT (RED) iPod nano.

Each iPod shuffle contains 1 Gigabyte of storage, good enough to hold about 240 songs. Meanwhile, its built-in rechargeable lithium polymer battery offers up to 12-hours of playback when fully charged, Apple says.

iPod shuffle

The second-generation shuffle is the only iPod from Apple to ship with a docking station at no addition cost. It comes packaged in the same style translucent packaging used for the company's aluminum iPod nano players and also includes earphones and a Quick Start guide.

Due to its attractive price tag and surprisingly appealing design, analysts have high hopes that sales of the player will contribute significantly Apple's overall iPod unit shipments during its holiday quarter, of which current estimates range from 15 to 20 million total units.