APPLE'S MINI IPOD DUE TO GO ON SALE IN SA BY END-JULY

Computing

South African music fans should be able to get Apple Mini iPods within days of the 24 July worldwide launch, says Apple SA MD Bruno Verolini. Despite fears that SA will find itself far down on the waiting list, Verolini says SA is "most definitely"included in the worldwide shipment plan.

"However, we are not sure how many units will be received and so we will supply them to retailers and those who have pre-ordered on a first come, first served basis, "Verolini says.

The Mini iPod has almost cult-like status in the US where demand has far outstripped supply. Journalists have questioned the wisdom of an international launch when there is a two-month waiting list in the US. The Mini iPod has a 4GB hard drive, compared with other iPod models, which have hard drives that range from 15GB to 40GB.

Verolini says the Mini iPod comes with the iTunes music management software that can be used on either Apples or PCs. "Many people do confuse the iTunes software with the iTunes music store, which is only available in the US,"he says. Apple says 100million songs have been downloaded through its music store since it began operations last year.

"Bringing the iTunes music store to SA will depend on the distribution agreements with the recording labels,"Verolini says. "There has always been an intention to take iTunes international, but the agreements with the music companies have to be sorted out first.²

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