updated 4/13/2004 3:00:17 PM ET 2004-04-13T19:00:17

Apple Computer Inc. is investigating complaints that its popular iPod mini is prone to static and other sound distortions when playing back music.

The diminutive music players, which have been shipping since February, sometimes generate the noise when users touch areas around the headphone jack, according to a handful of reports posted at iPodlounge.com and Apple's own discussion forums.

"Apple is aware of a few isolated reports online of iPod mini audio static and is looking into it," Apple spokeswoman Natalie Sequeira said Tuesday. She urged users with any problems to contact the company's technical support.

The devices come with a one-year warranty.

Last month, Apple delayed the gadget's international release to the end of July, citing extremely strong demand in the United States. In February, the company reported receiving more than 100,000 pre-orders for the $249 mini since its January unveiling.

The waiting list is now between one and five weeks, Sequeira said. The company is expected to reveal more information when it posts its latest financial results Wednesday.

The iPod minis, which weigh less than most cell phones and are slightly larger than a business card, have a tiny 4-gigabyte hard drive and are available in a variety of colors. Apple also continues to sell its regular iPods, which are physically larger and have drives up to 40 gigabytes.

Shares of Apple were down 96 cents, to $27.08, in Tuesday trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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