Apple has always had fun with the iPod nano, constantly changing the design of the portable media player over the years. The company never seems to make up their minds just yet when it comes how the device should look. More recently in the refresh cycle, Apple launched the sixth-generation iPod nano. The device was similar to an iPod Shuffle in some areas, but not quite in others.
And while it has since been outdated by the seventh-generation model, I think of it as the most important iPod nano generation. This new device featured a 1.55-inch touch screen with a clock application that had a useful “Time on Wake” feature. When enabled, the device would wake up to the clock. Behold, the “iWatch” idea was born.
Apple soon recognized the iPod nano’s potential as a wearable device, and began selling third-party wrist-straps designed by a myriad of accessory makers. The device also featured several clock faces, from a traditional digital watch to a Micky Mouse design. I’ve only seen one person use the iPod nano as a wristwatch, but don’t let that fool you. Apple is fully aware of the potential of this little device.
Fast forward to today, and we have the seventh-generation iPod nano. Apple scrapped the idea of the little wrist watch design and replaced it with a redesigned iPod nano with a home button akin to iOS devices. The device now features a 2.5-inch touch screen and is branded as “the thinnest iPod nano yet.”
I don’t think Apple will backtrack to the sixth-generation iPod nano design. But, I do feel that it was a public concept. Apple’s research and development team should be focused on improving the former iPod’s design and applying what they’ve learned to the purported iWatch. They’ve already filed a trademark for it, so we know the idea is running somewhere in the Cupertino-based firm. Competitors like Samsung are already seeking new ways to implement a smart watch into our lives. But can Apple succeed?
So what’s next for the iPod nano? First on the list is Apple will need to replace the old 30-pin dock connector with the new standard — the Lightning connector. Perhaps Apple will also opt to bring a camera back to the iPod nano, like on the fifth-generation model. And how will iTunes Radio be adapted to the iPod nano? How will this tie in with the iPod touch and iPod classic? Are those devices in store for refreshes as well?
We’ll find out on September 10th.