The new iPod is is available in three versions, holding 10GB, 15GB and 30GB of data respectively. The 10GB version costs about US$300. However, the new models have a lower battery life: Apple rates the new iPod at eight hours of playtime, compared to the 10 hours managed by the old iPods.
A new dock on the 15GB and 30GB models includes supports audio-out for direct connection to a stereo. All the iPods support FireWire and USB 2.0 connection to both Apple and Windows computers, although the Windows USB 2.0 drivers won't be available until June. The iPod also includes a couple of games, an alarm clock and a file viewer--as before, it can act as a portable file store.
"The competition hasn't even caught up with our first-generation iPod, and we're introducing our third generation," said Apple chief executive Steve Jobs in a statement.
The new iPod for Mac and Windows PCs is available on Apple's Asia-Pacific Web stores, though the actual shipment date could not be confirmed.