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Apple's shrunken 6th-gen iPod nano to retain 30-pin dock connector

post #1 of 75
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Apple is poised to introduce a radically redesigned iPod nano next week that will retain its trademark I/O connector despite its drastically reduced form factor, AppleInsider has learned. Meanwhile, rumors pertaining to 3G-enabled iPod touches and a new version of iLife are also on the table.

People familiar with the matter indicated that the size and shape of the device, revealed this week through photos of third-party cases, will be more akin to the iPod shuffle than the current-generation iPod nano. Even with this small size, however, it is expected to have a traditional iPod dock connector, allowing compatibility with the existing iPod accessory ecosystem.

The new iPod nano is said to utilize a tiny 3cm-by-3cm display that was revealed in its bare form as unknown Apple-branded component earlier this summer. For comparison, the second-generation iPod nano had a screen that was about 3cm by 2.5cm.

AppleInsider was told that overseas manufacturers have been creating protective cases that will fit the new form factor since July. The cases seen this week appeared to indicate that the device will have buttons on its side, perhaps for volume control.

The current iPod shuffle, Apple's smallest media player, is not large enough to house the now-ubiquitous iPod USB-powered dock connection. Instead, the iPod shuffle connects to a computer through a special USB cable that plugs into the device's headphone jack.

While the headphone USB cable allows the small form factor of the iPod shuffle to be possible, it also locks the device out from the popular and lucrative submarket of devices that rely on the 30-pin iPod dock connector found on the remainder of the iPod lineup, as well as the iPhone and iPad.

A rendering of Apple's anticipated iPod nano refresh shows the screen size compared to a second-gen model.

It is not clear how input will be handled with Apple's new iPod nano. Previous reports indicated that the new, small display will be a touchscreen, though its limited available real estate could make navigation difficult.

The new device could also have inputs on the back, or through another method entirely, such as that of the shuffle. The cases revealed this week showed an open space on the back that could also be used to clip the device.



People familiar with Apple's plans have also heard over the last few months that the company has strongly considered mimicking its iPad offerings by adding a 3G option to some of its iPod touch portable media players, though it is unclear whether the Cupertino-based company has decided to proceed with those plans as part of next week's announcement.

A similar move was made earlier this year when Apple launched the iPad. The company now offers a Wi-Fi-only iPad, in addition to a version with a 3G radio for an additional $130. Currently, the iPod touch only offers Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, but 4th-generation prototypes with a SIM tray akin to the iPhone 4's are said to exist.

The 3G-capable iPad has been a resounding success for Apple, with strong sales that resulted in the device being sold out or in limited availability for months at Apple's retail stores.

At a minimum, Apple is widely expected to introduce a fourth-generation, FaceTime-equipped iPod touch with front and rear facing cameras, as well as a Retina display, at next week's Sept. 1 special event.

Finally, people who have an ear in on Apple plans say there was some talk a few months ago about dedicating some time at next week's media event to a new version of its iLife software suite. Rumors of an update to iLife have persisted for most of the year, but so far an updated version of the software suite has failed to materialize. Like the rumors of a 3G option for new iPod touches, however, this bit of information cannot be confirmed at this time with certainty.

The iLife suite currently includes iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand and iWeb, and is included free with every new Mac. The last update, iLife '09, launched in January of 2009, with major upgrades to all of its applications, including the Faces and Places features in iPhoto, and the addition of the Precision Editor to iMovie.
post #2 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple is poised to introduce a radically redesigned iPod nano next week ...

Interesting stuff, but are we sure this isn't a replacement for the shuffle instead of the nano?

Also, why the heck would anyone want to buy a "case" for something that small? What a total waste of plastic.
post #3 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Interesting stuff, but are we sure this isn't a replacement for the shuffle instead of the nano?

That looks more like a Shuffle to me, especially with that clip. I have no idea what theyd call that but its certainly not going to have the usability of the current Nano, so Id have to say that if it is a Nano then there will still be a larger Nano to fit that market segment.
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post #4 of 75
I'm with the people who think it's the new shuffle.
post #5 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Interesting stuff, but are we sure this isn't a replacement for the shuffle instead of the nano?

Also, why the heck would anyone want to buy a "case" for something that small? What a total waste of plastic.

Perhaps they want to customize the color?
For many, the iPod is a fashion statement.
post #6 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Currently, the iPod touch only offers 3G and Bluetooth, but 4th-generation prototypes with a SIM tray akin to the iPhone 4's are said to exist.

Proofreader?
post #7 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The current iPod shuffle, Apple's smallest media player, is not large enough to house the now-ubiquitous iPod USB-powered dock connection. Instead, the iPod shuffle connects to a computer through a special USB cable that plugs into the device's headphone jack.

This is not quite correct. The shuffle, in its current size could support a dock connector on the SIDE of the unit. It would look totally stupid and out of place, but physically, the dimensions could work. Not sure about the guts inside having the space, of course.
post #8 of 75
Man oh man it looks like it's gonna be an awesome show on Sep.1 I sure hope that at least some of the rumors come true.

I gotta say though that apple better not screw with Nano, as it is near perfect right now, but shuffle could use some controls, and if they are touch screen all the better.

Having retina on the touch would be a nice bonus to the cameras and the gyro.
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post #9 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

Man oh man it looks like it's gonna be an awesome show on Sep.1 I sure hope that at least some of the rumors come true.

Agree. What ever this little thing is or called, it could be pretty darn cool. Imagine if it has BT and/or WiFi. Add BT headphones and clip it on your sleeve. Kewl. Even kewler if they would enable all the BT controls to work on it too. Add wifi synch you've got the perfect "one more thing." Gee, will it run on iOS4?

Will be tuned in next wednesday!
post #10 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjojade View Post

This is not quite correct. The shuffle, in its current size could support a dock connector on the SIDE of the unit. It would look totally stupid and out of place, but physically, the dimensions could work. Not sure about the guts inside having the space, of course.

Im sure that is what they meant, even though I see no place that it could fit on the current Shuffle, only on the previous design.

As for space, here are some comparisons

Here is a large image of the dock connector in the iPhone 4.

image:

http://guide-images.ifixit.net/igi/u...Piqe5XZCV.huge Here is the iFixit teardown of the larger G2 iPod Shuffle and the now even smaller G3 iPod Shuffle.
G2 iPod Shuffle Teardown

G3 iPod Shuffle
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post #11 of 75
Hoping the 6th gen nanos go on-sale on the 1st!

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post #12 of 75
So will the shrunken nano still have a camera?
post #13 of 75
[/center] tags are necessary in the original post, btw.
post #14 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

I'm with the people who think it's the new shuffle.

God I hope so. Did Apple learn nothing with the "stubby" nano in the past? Everyone hated it.
( as you can see by how quickly it was replaced )

if that's a new shuffle, that would be awesome.

a new Nano simply must keep the candybar formfactor. It's just too darn small if it doesn't.

I personally will miss the clickwheel... I can't stand having to look at my screen ever time i want to go to the next song... now if we had haptic feed back that might be different!
post #15 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The iLife suite currently includes iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand and iWeb, and is included free with every new Mac. The last update, iLife '09, launched in January of 2009, with major upgrades to all of its applications

Actually it also includes iDVD, which was not updated in iLife '09.
post #16 of 75
As this will be a mobile event, I don't see Apple releasing a new iLife suite due to it being a Mac product. They tend to like to keep Mac and mobile separate at media events so as not to muddy the waters. Unless, of course, they release iLife Mobile.
post #17 of 75
Never mind iPod touch, Apple should introduce some 3G Macs following the success of the 3G iPad.
post #18 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by columbus View Post

Never mind iPod touch, Apple should introduce some 3G Macs following the success of the 3G iPad.

Id like that, or at the very least a GPS chip in Mac notebooks with Find My Mac built in and apps that work with the GPS chip in the device, which is now a part of HTML5.
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post #19 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider

Currently, the iPod touch only offers 3G and Bluetooth...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Banalltv View Post

Proofreader?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OnlyShawn View Post

[/center] tags are necessary in the original post, btw.

No 3G iPod Touch yet AI. Does anyone in editing read these posts so the original post can get fixed?

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post #20 of 75
I'm very excited about the new iPod lineup. I'm in the market for a new iPod, since my 1st generation touch now gets about 45 minutes per charge, and since I've got the iPad now, a dedicated music player is what I'm looking for.
post #21 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

That looks more like a Shuffle to me, especially with that clip. I have no idea what they’d call that but it’s certainly not going to have the usability of the current Nano, so I’d have to say that if it is a Nano then there will still be a larger Nano to fit that market segment.

Yeah, I find it very confusing. I've been wrong enough that I don't want to predict anything, but how would you take video with something like that (that was at least as good as the current model)?

It totally seems like the new shuffle to me, but we won't know until the 8th.
post #22 of 75
I've said this before in another post, but applies here also:

Shuffle and nano merged into the new 3 x 3 device.

New ipod touch "mini" will be the device that falls into the current nanos price point.

iPod touch mini will have much smaller bezel than full size iPod touch, and the screen will be same res as current iPod touch, but with a slightly higher pixel density due to a slight reduction in size (3" or 3.2" compared to full size 3.5")

Ipod touch mini won't have as good a camera or screen as the new ipod touch will, and also won't have a gyro, and will be limited to 8 & 16 gb models, whereas the new full size iPod touch will be 32gb, 64gb & a 128gb to be released later this year.

The basis for my guess being that apple wants it's biggest selling iPod to be able to run ios apps - at nano prices they would probably collect more in app sales revenue from an average buyer than the profit margin from selling the device itself.

I had considered the 3G option for the ipod touch, but thought it unlikely - would be amazing if it did!! I can just imagine a bunch of people buying a touch, thereby bypassing having a voice plan with the wireless carriers all together, and just relying on facetime & Skype for their telephony requirements.
post #23 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

Hoping the 6th gen nanos go on-sale on the 1st!

Most likely not because of this but hopefully right on the 8th:

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post #24 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by IOSWeekly View Post

I've said this before in another post, but applies here also:


iPod touch mini will have much smaller bezel than full size iPod touch, and the screen will be same res as current iPod touch, but with a slightly higher pixel density due to a slight reduction in size (3" or 3.2" compared to full size 3.5")

Ipod touch mini won't have as good a camera or screen as the new ipod touch will, and also won't have a gyro, and will be limited to 8 & 16 gb models, whereas the new full size iPod touch will be 32gb, 64gb & a 128gb to be released later this year.

To the first paragraph, no. They are not going to be changing the screen size of any ipod touch. Bet on it. To the second paragraph, if the iPhone 4 storage gives us any clue, the capacity is going to stay the same maxed out a 64gig. I'm betting on 128gig next year.
post #25 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Id like that, or at the very least a GPS chip in Mac notebooks with Find My Mac built in and apps that work with the GPS chip in the device, which is now a part of HTML5.

Yup. I think HP is doing this now so you can tell where your HP and grab directions pretty accurately, without the need for wifi. All you need is offline maps.
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post #26 of 75
I'm betting it's the Shuffle that's getting the touch screen. The current Shuffle was a flop.
post #27 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Banalltv View Post

Proofreader?

Thanks for the tip!
post #28 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by OnlyShawn View Post

[/center] tags are necessary in the original post, btw.

Thank you as well.
post #29 of 75
3G touches would really heat up the idevice domination. They should have done this earlier.
Hard-Core.
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Hard-Core.
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post #30 of 75
I think the new Nano will basically be a half sized Touch with a streamlined/optimized UI. Probably something more widget driven instead of full blown apps. It'll be just big enough to emulate the old style iPod click wheel via touch and just big enough for semi-usable soft keyboard. (not going to want to write an e-mail on it but maybe ~140 characters with generous auto-compltion/correction. Wifi + Bluetooth plus a decent resolution screen.
post #31 of 75
I do not think this is going to be an iPod nano. It is going to be an iPod Shuffle, or may be a "new" iPod.

If they will really make this their iPod Nano, then I guess they are crazy to do so! Why would they ever cut the size of the screen to almost half of its original size?!?!

can't wait for Sept. 1.
post #32 of 75
or... if the small screen is not meant to be actually the device's screen, then it would be the click-wheel, but more digitized with touch-controls.
post #33 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by eightzero View Post

Kewl. Even kewler if they would enable ...

You know it would be even cooler if you learned to spell and didn't corrupt the English language.

Look up Kewl in the urban dictionary and you'll realize that people will just think you are stupid.

Now back on topic. I find my 2G nano a little on the small side for holding. I would had to hold this. I think I'd be afraid that I would lose it...
post #34 of 75
From the article: ..."the device will have buttons on its side, perhaps for volume control"...

Or for adjusting the time. I think the square form factor is a hint that this isn't going to be "the new iPod nano" after all. No TV shows or movies are square, and all Apple devices with screens have rectangular shapes, with a clear preferred "bottom edge."

Just add a wrist strap to a small square iDevice and voila: iWatch. And iWatch.com is conveniently being parked by someone. Perhaps by a well-disguised holding company owned by Apple?

I hope it is, in fact a wrist-mounted watch-like device. The Asian company that already made some small square rubber cases (and leaked pictures to generate publicity for themselves) would be screwed. Which would be a good thing.

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post #35 of 75
If the small square screen really is the only screen on the device, then it's going to be far too small to run iOS and App Store apps comfortably. Apple would not want to add another species of app to the existing three types (iPhone only, iPad only, and iPhone + iPad universal.)

That means it would run a variant of the Pixo-based iPod OS. And for controlling playback and choosing songs, a virtual click wheel could be superimposed on the touch screen when needed. A new "watch" app could be the default display, with a few other basic apps including the iPod app.

All of this means that the real iPod nano could keep roughly the same form factor, possibly with a virtual click wheel on the touch screen to replace the separate click wheel. I wouldn't be surprised if this were the last iPod nano, so Apple can see how it sells compared to the "iWatch" before canceling it.

And one last crazy idea: the iWatch could be cheap enough to be a killer remote. For the next-gen Apple TV. Just a thought...

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post #36 of 75
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post #37 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

3G touches would really heat up the idevice domination. They should have done this earlier.

Um yeah they did..back in 2007 it's called the iPhone duh

Why the hell would apple put a 3G radio chip in the iPod touch!?

Get a iPad
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post #38 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by kerryn View Post

You know it would be even cooler if you learned to spell and didn't corrupt the English language.

Look up Kewl in the urban dictionary and you'll realize that people will just think you are stupid.

Now back on topic. I find my 2G nano a little on the small side for holding. I would had to hold this. I think I'd be afraid that I would lose it...


You know what would be cooler? If people stopped being grammar nazis! BTW, maybe you should follow your own advice (you said "I would had to hold this.") I won't correct it but you know what is wrong with that sentence.
post #39 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flash_beezy View Post

Um yeah they did..back in 2007 it's called the iPhone duh

Why the hell would apple put a 3G radio chip in the iPod touch!?

Get a iPad

Skype.

I've got an iPad and I'd buy a 3G Touch, especially if I could use the same SIM card in each. There are times when the iPad is too big.

I don't need a cell phone any more so a 3G touch would be perfect.
post #40 of 75
I also would doubt that this is going to be the new Nano. It obviously fits the form factor for a Shuffle and would make the Shuffle a lot more practical than it has ever been. Not having a screen on the Shuffle has always made it very limited and if you think about it, it is the one iPod that really hasn't changed all that much since it was first introduced (Except for more memory and voice prompts). I'm not sure what the new Nano will be, but I'm guessing this is the new Shuffle.
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