This week, Apple introduced iPod mini, the smallest portable music player ever to hold up to 1,000 CD-quality songs. iPod mini is encased in an ultra-portable, lightweight anodized aluminum body available in five colors--silver, gold, pink, blue or green--and features a patent pending, touch-sensitive Click Wheel for one-handed navigation. iPod mini features the same user interface as its "big brother" iPods and works effortlessly with Apple’s iTunes Music Store, the world’s number one digital music service, and the iTunes digital music jukebox software for seamlessly buying, managing and listening to digital music collections.

"iPod has revolutionized the way people listen to music," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "iPod mini joins the iPod family of best-selling digital music players, offering customers the same 1,000 songs in your pocket as the original iPod in an innovative design that’s half the size. We think it's going to be pretty popular, especially with younger music lovers."

iPod mini is smaller than most cell phones and weighs only 3.6 ounces. Building on the success of the original touch wheel, iPod mini features an innovative, new Click Wheel that combines the ease and simplicity of a touch wheel with the precision of mechanical buttons for precise, one-handed navigation. iPod mini users can transfer a song per second from their Mac or Windows computer and conveniently charge iPod mini with either the included FireWire or USB 2.0 cable.

iPod mini includes the hallmark white headphones and a new belt clip. With a backlit, recessed screen and lightweight, yet durable anodized aluminum, iPod mini is the ultimate portable digital music player from a durability perspective. Users can purchase an optional arm band, in-ear headphones or a dock to enhance their iPod mini experience.

iPod mini also features Apple’s patent pending Auto-Sync technology that automatically downloads an entire digital music library onto iPod mini and keeps it up-to-date whenever iPod mini is plugged into a Mac or Windows computer using FireWire or USB 2.0.

Users can personalize their new iPod mini with a custom laser engraving on the back. iPod mini can be custom engraved with a name or personal message to commemorate special events such as a graduation, birthday or a winning team’s season, as well as for identification in case they lose their iPod.

Pricing & Availability

iPod mini for Mac and Windows will be available in the US in February for a suggested retail price of $249 (US), and will be available worldwide in April, in a choice of a silver, gold, pink, blue or green 4GB model with a belt clip. iPod mini will be available through the Apple Store, Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers. All iPod minis will include ear bud headphones, an Apple iPod mini power adapter, a 1.2m 30-pin to FireWire cable, a 1.2m 30-pin to USB 2.0 cable, and a CD with iTunes 4.2 for Mac and Windows computers.

Optional accessories with the following suggested retail prices include the iPod Dock for $39 (US), in-ear headphones for $39 (US) and arm band for $29 (US). Laser engraving is available for iPod mini for $19 (US) and can include two lines of text with up to 23 characters per line.

iPod mini can be charged with either the FireWire or USB 2.0 cable and gets up to eight hours of battery life. iPod mini requires a Mac with a FireWire port and Mac OS X version 10.1.5 or later (Mac OS X v10.2 or later recommended); or a Windows PC with a FireWire or USB 2.0 port, or a Windows-certified FireWire or USB 2.0 card and Windows 2000, XP Home or Professional.

March 2005 Update: Apple Updates iPod mini and iPod photo

On March 1, Apple announced updates to its iPod mini and iPod photo product lines. On the iPod mini front, the company lowered the price of the 4GB model from $249 to $199 and added a new 6GB model, which retails for $249. The new price point for the 4GB model is exactly what the unit should have cost 1 year ago, but it now lacks some accessories that were standard on the original model, including an AC adapter ($29.99) and a FireWire cable ($19; only a USB 2.0 cable is now provided by default). Both iPod mini devices feature much improved battery life, however, touted at 18 hours by Apple. The new iPod mini comes in four colors, three of which are new--but despite the rampant rumors that suggested otherwise, the company hasn't added a color screen or FM tuner. Maybe next time.