Apple's 5.5G iPods receive stealthy price cuts

While everyone's busy trying to figure out which particular shade of brushed metal Apple's new iMacs are going to show up in, a few major online retailers have quietly trimmed 5.5G iPod prices. Apple, who usually keeps a pretty tight rein on its product prices throughout various retail channels, hasn't matched the cuts on the Apple Store, but you can currently score a 30GB or 80GB iPod (with video) for about $20 off at Amazon, Best Buy, Circuit City and J&R online stores. Notable exceptions include Target's online store, and Wal-mart, which doesn't sell iPods online. It's anyone's guess as to what actually sparked these price drops. It could be a way for traditional retailers to compete with Apple's aggressive back to school promotions, an attempt by Apple to clear away excess stock in preparation for a brand new iPod, or perhaps just a good old-fashioned price cut. Perhaps we'll know more on August 7th?

[Thanks, Matthew]