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Apple Unveils iPod Hi-Fi, New Mini Mac

1 Mar, 2006 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Apple Computer, manufacturer of the wildly successful iPod, March 1 launched a high-fidelity home speaker system for the portable music player.

The iPod Hi-Fi system, which includes a self-charging iPod dock, remote control and removable grille, retails for $349. Separately, the company bowed $90 leather cases for iPod 30GB and 60GB models and the iPod Nano.

With iPod reportedly controlling 78% of the digital music player market, a cottage industry of third-party speaker devices for the home and automobile has surfaced prompting Apple to enter the fray.

“They probably felt they could do a better job than the ancillary manufacturers,” said media analyst Dennis McApline.

In addition, Apple unveiled a downsized version of the Mac computer without keyboard and monitor that reportedly includes software allowing users to access audio and video content from other Macs or PCs connected to a home network.

In a related matter, Microsoft Corp. March 2 was set to introduce Origami, a portable device that is reportedly capable of downloading music and video files, playing video games in addition to other PDA-like functions.

A Microsoft spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.

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