Apple's new iMacs don't have internal modems - so Apple last night quietly released one as an optional extra.

"The Apple USB Modem is a simple, one-piece external USB modem that's perfect for people who use a dial-up connection to access the Internet and do email. It's small, light, easy to install and even easier to use," Apple states.

The company adds: "Just plug it into the USB port on your Mac, then connect your phone line to the other end. Open the networking preference panel in Mac OS X, enter your connection information, and click connect."

The 56kbps modem handles fax traffic at 14.4kbps. It supports caller ID, wake on ring, telephone answering (V.253), modem on hold and has V.92 software support.

Apple's new USB external model costs £35.