At nearly half the size of the original, the new iPod shuffle is just half a cubic inch in volume, weighs just half an ounce and*features a minimal aluminum design with a built-in clip.
Apple claims the new player is also the "most wearable iPod yet," featuring a 12-hour battery life and enough storage (1GB) to hold up to 240 songs.
The $79 device ships in the same type of plastic packaging used for the company's recently re-mastered second-generation iPod nano. Shipping with each second-gen shuffle is a pair of iPod earbud earphones (first-gen), a USB dock and Quick Start guide.
Availability of the second-generation shuffle is slated for this friday, Nov. 3, when Apple retail stores and electronics chains such as Best Buy and Circuit City will begin selling the device for the first time. In the meantime, the Apple Store continues to accept orders for the players. Shoppers are reporting that new orders for engraved models are estimated to ship within 2 - 4 business days.
A very special thanks to Jeremy Smith of Pleasanton, Calif. for providing AppleInsider with high-quality unboxing photos of one of the first units to arrive in the US: