Mini iPod to debut outside U.S.

Higher-than-expected demand in the United States delayed device's international release, Apple says.

Apple Company will launch the miniature version of its portable music player internationally this month, the company reaffirmed Wednesday.

The iPod Mini, based on a 4GB hard drive, began shipping in the United States in February. But its international debut was delayed because of higher-than-expected demand in the United States and a limited supply of hard drives.

The new product will be available in international markets starting July 24 through Apple?s online store as well as retailers and resellers, for $249.

Apple expects that greater supplies of the iPod Mini's 4GB hard drive will be available this summer, said Greg Joswiak, vice president of hardware product marketing at Apple.

"We hope to catch up with demand for the iPod Mini by the end of September," he said.

Last month, Apple opened the doors of its iTunes music store to British, French and German customers.

CNET's John Spooner contributed to this report.