Apple quietly updates U2 iPod, lowers price

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.

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.