“Secrets” of the 4G iPod

The following feature is an expanded version of an iLounge-exclusive story that first appeared last week in Backstage.ilounge.com, our behind-the-scenes page for upcoming site content.

Spy novels and other fiction aside, rarely will a cryptic phrase or sentence accurately foreshadow a big surprise to come. More often than not, someone’s innocuous words are taken out of context by listeners or readers and spun into grand fantasies, which only later are deflated by far less impressive announcements – or none at all.

But in recent months, Apple executives have been teasing the world with little word games, inspiring fans and journalists alike to speculate on the secretive company’s future plans for fourth-generation iPods. In June, CEO Steve Jobs publicly hinted that Apple was working to drop iPod prices, but wouldn’t say more. Then in mid-July, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer so quickly and obliquely mentioned plans for a “higher mix of iPods

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