Apple Unveils New iPod, Mac, Car Deals

Flash-based iPod shuffle to start at $99.

Apple today unveiled a range of new products and announced new deals for iPod integration with major car manufacturers. The announcements came during the company's Macworld Expo in San Francisco.

Among the new products is the first iPod player that will sell for less than $100. The flash memory-based "iPod shuffle" automatically selects songs from the user's music library for random playback. The device, described as "smaller and lighter than a pack of gum," comes with a lanyard so it can be worn around the neck. iPod shuffle is available in two models: 512MB, which holds 120 songs and sells for $99, and 1GB, which holds 240 and sells for $149.

Also unveiled was the Mac mini, described as the most affordable and compact Mac computer ever. The desktop machine, priced starting at $499, is two inches tall and weighs 2.9 pounds; it must be connected to a separate monitor and keyboard. The device features Apple's new iLife digital photo and music management software.

Meanwhile, Apple has inked deals for iPod integration with car makers Mercedes-Benz USA, Volvo, Nissan, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari. All are expected to deliver iPod mechanisms in their car stereo systems in 2005.

"Almost every car company in the world is working to integrate iPod into their cars in 2005," says Apple senior VP of worldwide product marketing Philip Schiller. "iPod customers want to take their entire music collection with them everywhere they go, including their car, so we're excited to be able to work with so many leading automotive companies to provide customers with integrated solutions."

The iPod Integration Kit for Mercedes-Benz will debut this April in the 2006 M-Class. Volvo will offer two iPod connectivity options for its entire 2005 US model line. The other manufacturers will announce their plans later this year.

BMW and Mini Cooper began providing integrated iPod options in 2004.