It wasn't a joke. Apple really has created socks for the iPod. And it certainly isn't because it lost its trademark dispute with a Chinese clothing company, claims the company.

The Socks are now available to pre-order from the US Apple Store. They will ship in early December – just in time for Christmas. Could there be a more perfect Christmas present for an iPod than socks?

The iPod Socks come in a selection of colours: green, purple, grey, blue, orange, and pink. And for $29 for a pack of six (UK price and shipping dates are still to be confirmed) your iPod can have a different sock for every day of the week, almost.

Meanwhile in China…

Back in June Apple lost its attempt to have its trademark extended to cover clothing in China.

Apple lost its appeal against a decision by the Chinese courts to allow clothing company Guangdong Apples Industrial to use an Apple logo on clothing, hats and shoes.

However, Apple claims that the Chinese case did not have any impact on its decision to launch the Socks. A spokesperson for the company said: "When we looked around at all the third party accessories for iPod we thought it would be great to produce a seasonal gift for iPod from Apple hence came the socks."