In addition to launching a new Mac mini with an Intel heart, Apple has "reinvented" the home stereo with the launch of a speaker system into which music fans can dock their iPods. The iPod Hi-Fi can also be controlled via Apple's remote that now ships with both the Mac mini and the iMac.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs told an audience of journalists and analysts gathered at Apple's Cupertino campus that "forty percent of all automobiles sold offer iPod connectivity as an option," adding that home stereo products lack that functionality.

While some manufacturers are starting to add direct iPod connectivity to new amplifiers and systems, "you're not getting rid of your home stereo," said Jobs. Why is this? Because audiophiles want a wide frequency range. "You want to be able to have great bass but also be able to hear the highest frequencies. You want room-filling power without distortion," he claimed.

Turning quality up a notch

Jobs explained that the iPod Hi-Fi "has some of the attributes of iPod products today, but with home-stereo quality."

"We get great bass out of this thing and it doesn't distort when you crank it up," said Jobs.

The iPod Hi-Fi will retail at £249 including VAT.

The system features an iPod dock on top that can hold any generation of iPod thanks to various inserts that ship with the iPod Hi-Fi. An auxiliary input is also available around the back of the device for iPod shuffles. The iPod's software has been updated to accommodate the new speaker system.

The company has also launched leather cases for its newest iPods - video and nano.

More news to follow.