Dell is to sell the PC versions of Apple's iPod MP3 player, signalling a thawing-out of relations between the two companies.

All three Windows configurations - 5GB, 10GB and 20GB - will be available to customers. The Mac versions will not be for sale.

The iPod has been hitting the headlines in recent weeks. After celebrating its first birthday last week, US high-street store chains Target and BestBuy confirmed they would be selling the MP3 player in all their stores.

The iPod will also be sold on Dell's Web site.

The surpise move follows strained relations between Dell and Apple, largely due to Apple’s bid to get Wintel-users to convert to Mac through its Switchers advertising campaign. Dell, a manufacturer of Windows-based computers, competes directly with Apple.

Apple said in a statement: "iPod has been a big success to date, and we would like to make it even bigger."

Apple sold 140,000 iPods last quarter, including 54,000 for Windows-based machines.