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Apple chief executive Steve Jobs pictured in front of an iPod in 2005.

Apple Inc. says it has sold 100 million units of its iPod, with the Cupertino, Calif.-based company declaring the product is "the fastest-selling music player in history."

Since thefirst iPod was sold in November 2001, the device has become a defining icon in the portable music world.

The iPod haschanged the way many music lovers acquire,store and listen to music, the company said. "Without the iPod, the digital music age would have been defined by files and folders instead of songs and albums," musician John Mayer said in an Apple news release.

The iPod has become so popular that it has spawned spinoff industries that make everything from fashionable cases to speaker systems. More than 70 per cent of U.S. 2007 model vehicleshave an iPod link, the company said.

The model and colour of number 100,000,000 are unknown, the website ilounge.com said, but"it appears to be in the company’s possession, rather than on a store’s shelves awaiting sale."

In January, 2005, Apple kept unit number 10,000,000 as a memento, ilounge said.

TheiPod sales have been credited with boosting Apple's profits and stock price.