The image, deliberately masked by MacNN to protect the identity of the shot, bears a near perfect resemblance to images that have been circulating the web of the device, all of which began when Digg creator Kevin Rose posted an image on his personal blog.
True to the leaks, the new flash-based iPod is tall and has a tapered shell at the front and back which is reminiscent of the MacBook Air. The report claims that the new nano is wrapped entirely in aluminum, but that it will come in "more vibrant" colors than the light-tinted models on sale today -- one of which is the coppery orange that was used for the second-generation iPod shuffle.
Throwbacks to the new model's close cousin, the second-generation iPod nano, are also in evidence elsewhere: the dock connector is once again offset from the center, and the packaging is the same clear, tall plastic case.
Fourth-generation iPod nano. | Image credits: MacNN.
An unobscured version of the image later published by MacNN.
MacNN provides little else to fill in details of the product itself but is convinced the updated iPod nano will not only be announced at next week's "Let's Rock" event but that it should be ready to sell almost right away and thus mirror many of Apple's more recent product launches. The site also warns returning students that the new models won't qualify for the back-to-school promotion from this summer that ends on September 15th.