Almost lost in last week’s new iPod announcements was the iPod U2 Special Edition. In the days following Apple’s special event, the company has quietly updated the black-and-red model to bring it in line with the current “enhanced” fifth-generation (5G) iPod. Apple has also cut the price of the U2 iPod—from $329 to $279—to reflect the newly lowered price of the standard 30GB 5G iPods; the U2 iPod is still priced at a $30 premium over the regular 30GB model. The new version has a new model number to distinguish it from its predecessor.
While many of the new iPod features—3.5 hours of video playback, video games, support for 640×480 videos and Quick Scroll—are available to original 5G iPod owners thanks to a version 1.2 firmware update, the newly updated U2 iPod appears to be revamped and not just updated with firmware. Apple says on its website that the U2 iPod features a “new, brighter screen,” and the U2 iPod has a new model number (MA664LL/A) compared to the original fifth-generation U2 iPod released earlier this year (MA452LL/A). Apple’s web pages, however, make no mention of the iPod’s new Search feature, an apparent oversight.

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The U2 iPod features an all-black enclosure with black stainless steel back, red Click Wheel, and engraving of U2 band member signatures, and comes packaged with an iTunes Store coupon that can be redeemed for a 30-minute video of U2 music videos and band interviews. Apple originally introduced the iPod U2 Special Edition, based on the fourth-generation iPod, in October 2004. It later gained a color screen and other enhancements, and was updated to the 5G iPod platform this past June.

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