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Apple ships new iPods in 'SPAAAAACE ... Gray'

Tune players tarted up to match iPhone 5S

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Apple has quietly updated several of its iPod media players with a new color option to match its latest flagship smartphone, the iPhone 5S.

The new mobe, which debuted at a media event in Cupertino on Tuesday, comes in three different color schemes: the rather prosaic Silver and Gold, and the oddly named "Space Gray". Now a few new iPods have popped up with Space Gray housings of their own.

Specifically, the 32GB and 64GB variants of the iPod touch, the 16GB iPod nano, and the 2GB iPod shuffle are all now available in Space Gray variants. The 16GB iPod touch and the iPod classic aren't included in the, er, fun.

Nothing appears to have changed about the devices in question other than the plastics. All other specs remain the same.

Lest you wonder what we ever would have done before our consumer electronics came clad in Space Gray, the answer is that at various times, Apple filled this particular slot with a color it called either "Graphite", "Slate", or "Black" depending on the iPod model.

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El Reg has asked Apple why it has rolled out the Space Gray color option now, and just what is so "space" about its new gray hue – given that space itself is usually described as being inky black – but so far we have received no response.

A search at the US Patent and Trademark Office hasn't turned up any Space Gray intellectual property registered in Apple's name, either.

If any Reg readers have ideas as to what's going on, be sure to leave them in Comments.

In the meantime, Space Gray versions of the iPod touch will be available to ship from Apple's store in five to seven business days, or you can pick one up at your local Apple Retail Store on September 20, the same day that the iPhone 5S arrives.

Space Gray iPod nanos and iPod shuffles, on the other hand, are ready to ship within 24 hours and will be in stock at Apple Retail Stores on Thursday.

And for those of you who preferred the older Cupertinian grays and blacks, while new iPods in those colors are no longer offered for sale at Apple's online store as of Wednesday, a few are still available among the refurbished items. ®

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