Apple to Announce Special Edition U2 iPod?

Apple Computer will announce a new special edition U2 iPod promoting the bandis forthcoming album at an invite-only event next week, according to reportis by Think Secret and Forbes magazine.

Forbes reporter Matthew Miller reported Monday that sources close to the band have confirmed the U2 edition of the popular digital music player will come preloaded with the bandis new album, iHow To Dismantle An Atomic Bombi, along with other songs from the groupis collection.

"The iPods will be black and will be made available the same week as the bandis 11th studio album," Mr. Miller wrote.

Neither report quoted pricing of the special edition iPod.

Apple has sent selected members of the media , including The Mac Observer, invitations to a media event featuring Apple Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs, and band members Bono and David "The Edge" Howell Evans on Oct. 26 at 10 a.m. PDT at San Joseis California Theater.

Both reports said the custom iPods are part of a larger agreement, giving Apple exclusive rights to sell all the songs from the new album through its iTunes Music Store (iTMS) for at least the first few weeks.

Apple began selling the groupis new single, iVertigoi, from the album on iTMS in late September. The groupis complete album will be available to the general public on November 22 when U2 will release their first studio album in four years. The song is also featured in an Apple television commercial currently running in the United States only.

Recorded in Dublin and the south of France, the album made headlines in July after recordings were allegedly stolen from a studio. There were fears the tracks would appear on the Internet before the official release. U2 have sold 120 million records since their first album 24 years ago. The album was produced by Steve Lillywhite, who also produced the bandis first three albums.