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Monday, April 16 12:00 AM ET

Soldier's Story Highlights Need for Armored iPods

By Brian Briggs

Washington D. C. – Senator Carl Levin of Michigan said that the recent story of soldier Kevin Garrad, who confirmed that it was his body armor that stopped a bullet and not his iPod, highlights "the continuing need for armored iPods for our troops."

"We're four years into this conflict and still 50% of our troops don't have bulletproof iPods," said Levin. "Many are still using iPods that their parents bought online from eBay."

The Kevlar-wrapped iPods have been supplied to the US military by Apple since 2004, and have saved countless lives and MP3s.

"My complete collection of Linkin' Park was destroyed by an IED in Baghdad," said Terrance Trinkle from Birmingham, Alabama, who is on his second tour in Iraq. "If I had an armored iPod those songs could've been saved."

Other soldiers report losses of songs by 50 Cent, Tim McGraw and Ravi Shankar.

Soldiers with the armored iPods aren't entirely satisfied, however.  "This thing can stop a bullet from an AK-47, but it still scratches easily," said one soldier.

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An Apple representative said they are producing the iArmor iPods as quickly as possible, but overproduction of the hot-pink version put them behind schedule. "We'll be back on track by July," the Apple representative told Senator Levin at the hearing of the Armed Services Committee.

Currently, Apple only provides armored iPods to military and law enforcement agencies, but should have a consumer version available as soon as they are able to meet the demand of their military contracts.

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