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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 January, 2004, 11:36 GMT
Tiny iPod makes its debut
Gallery of mini iPods, Apple
The iPod Mini comes in five colours
Apple has unveiled a mini version of its best selling iPod music player.

Apple boss Steve Jobs revealed the tiny iPod during his opening address at the Macworld conference in San Francisco.

The iPod Mini has enough storage onboard to hold about 1,000 songs and is due to go on sale in the US in February and worldwide in April.

Also unveiled at the show were versions of the larger iPod that can hold more songs, software to help people create music and an updated version of Microsoft Office for the Mac.

Music maker

During his opening keynote speech Mr Jobs said that Apple had sold more than 2 million iPod music players, 730,000 of them in the closing three months of 2003.

"This thing is on fire," he said.

At the show Mr Jobs said the 10GB iPod will be dropped in favour of a 15GB version but will keep the same price of $299.

Apple has a 31% share of the portable MP3 player market in terms of units sold and 55% of the market by revenue, said Mr Jobs.

Steve Jobs peers at the iPod Mini, AP
The iPod is getting a smaller sibling
The new device comes in five colours, measures 9cm by 5cm (3.6in by 2in) and has 4GB of storage onboard which should be enough room for about 1,000 tracks.

The device will go on sale for $249 in the US but official Apple prices look set to be much higher than exchange rates suggest when it goes on sale in the UK.

In the US Apple sells a 15GB iPod for $299 and the UK price is 248.

The iPod Mini looks set to help Apple keep its position as the top MP3 player maker.

But 2004 looks set to be the year of the portable music player as Apple faces renewed competition from other gadget makers such as Digital Networks, Creative Labs and Archos.

Apple also faces stiff competition for its iTunes music store.

Mr Jobs said that iTunes has 70% of the legal download market and has now sold more than 30m songs. In late December Apple was selling almost 1.9m songs per week.

But rival services from Real Networks and even retail giant Wal-Mart and many others could dent iTunes' lead.

Mr Jobs also unveiled home recording software called GarageBand that acts as a portable music studio by including simulated instruments, virtual guitar amplifiers as well as recording and mixing tools.

GarageBand as well as new versions of Apple's iPhoto and iMovie software were unveiled as part of an update of the iLife media creation software suite.

Macworld also saw the revealing of a new version of Microsoft's Office suite for the Apple Mac.

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