New iPod Announced

Apple is announcing a new iPod, the fourth generation of the wildly popular device that still reigns the hard-drive based MP3 category. The new device reportedly is a tad thinner, and is exactly the same design but for the scroll wheel (which is similar to that introduced on the mini iPod, and eliminates the need for the four play buttons, aka the “Click Wheel”), but will have 50% more playback time (with better power management) and will cost $100 less for both the 40 Gb and 20 Gb models (now $400 and $300 respectively). Details are sketchy, but the Apple store is currently under reconstruction, so the new models are expected to be for sale later today.

News of the new iPod broke as a Newsweek magazine cover and article on the topic leaked late yesterday on sources like MacRumors and Engadget.

Update: The store is now open, the new iPods are available for sale. the 15 Gb iPod is no longer available, and the 20 Gb model doesn’t come with the docking cradle anymore. The new units are now chargable by either Firewire or USB 2.0 too. Other updates include tweaks to the firmware, which allow easier access to the “shuffle” function, the creation of multiple on-the-go playlists, and adjustable playback speed for audio books.