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Apple cuts iPod Shuffle prices, debuts 1GB Nano

Still no explanation of Nano capacity inflation phenomenon

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Apple has begun shipping the much-rumoured 1GB iPod Nano, pitching the new product as the "affordable" entry into the Nano line-up. The company also slashed the iPod Shuffle family's prices.

The 1GB Nano, which goes on sale today in the customary black and white versions, will retail for £109 in the UK and $149 in the US. The 512MB Shuffle now costs £49/$69, while the 1GB model - not, it seems, to be ousted by the new Nano - costs £69/$99. Neither model appears to sport the anticipated redesign.

The 2GB and 4GB Nanos remain priced at £139/$199 and £179/$249, respectively.

Apple said the 1GB Nano can hold 240 four-minute 128Kbps AAC tracks, the same as the 1GB Shuffle. What it didn't explain, however, was how the 2GB device can hold 500 songs formatted the same way. In other words, that 100 per cent extra capacity can hold 108 per cent more songs. The 4GB Nano, which is said to hold a 1000 songs - the same number as the original, 5GB iPod - holds 1000 tracks, double the number held by the 2GB Nano but well over four times' the number the 1GB Nano can take.

Apple stressed that the new Nano, like the other members of the line-up, ships with a case, the better to protect its colour display from unwanted scratches.

Last week, UBS Investment Research analyst Ben Reitzes forecast the arrival of the 1GB iPod Nano, but it's a product that has been rumoured to be in Apple's pipeline since December 2005. ®

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