Apple Exec Says iPod mini Static Issues "Extremely Small"

Despite wide-spread media reports of static or distorted audio problems with Appleis iPod mini portable digital-music player, an Apple executive said Wednesday the problem is "isolated" and is affecting very few users.

During an analyst conference call regarding the companyis second-quarter earnings results, Tim Cook, Appleis Executive Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Operations, said the number of reported cases of audio problems is "extremely small."

"Weire highly confident with the (iPod) minis that weire shipping," Mr. Cook said. "Weive seen some of those reports. Theyire isolated online reports. Weire investigating those because we want to very much understand those. But I would tell you that the number of complaints that weive had from customers through AppleCare tech support is extremely small. However, anyone that is listening to the (conference) call that has a problem, please call the AppleCare because we want to take care of the issue."

Apple Computer Inc. (AAPL) is investigating complaints that its popular iPod mini is prone to static and other sound distortions when playing back music. According to a small number of reports that surfaced last week on an independent iPod forum site and on Appleis own discussion forums, the problem sometimes happens when users press the plastic casing around the headphone jack.

An Apple spokeswoman said Tuesday the company is looking into the matter and investigating user reports.