Mix: iPod shipments, Burn & Return, DJ Ditty, Watchdog

Deutsche Bank has initiated coverage of Apple, forecasting that the company will ship 31 million iPod units in calendar 2005 and 43 million units in calendar 2006. “Due its strong product portfolio, market-share leadership, and the stickiness of iTunes, we believe Apple will continue to dominate this product category,” the firm said.

A four-store record shop chain in New Jersey is offering a “Buy It, Burn It, Return It” policy—customers can buy a CD, take it home and rip a copy to their computer. Within 10 days, they can return the disc for 70% store credit. “We don’t want to “butt heads with iPod owners,” said co-owner Jeff Scotti. “We have to embrace them.”

As expected, Dell has quietly launched a new flash-based device in an attempt to compete with the iPod shuffle. Its new $99 DJ Ditty comes with 512MB of storage, a tiny display and FM tuner.

iPod battery problems recently became the focus of a BBC TV investigation on UK consumer advocate show “Watchdog.” “If you bought your iPod before May last year, the in-built battery was supposed to last for up to 12 hours without the need for recharging. But for the owners of many of these older models, the music has been fading a lot more quickly,” Watchdog writes.

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