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

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 74
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 74
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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 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.
  • Reply 3 of 74
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,613member
    I'm with the people who think it's the new shuffle.
  • Reply 4 of 74
    rhyderhyde Posts: 294member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 74
    banalltvbanalltv Posts: 238member
    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?
  • Reply 6 of 74
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 74
    sheffsheff Posts: 1,407member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 74
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,310member
    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!
  • Reply 9 of 74
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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.



    I?m 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.
    Here is the iFixit teardown of the larger G2 iPod Shuffle and the now even smaller G3 iPod Shuffle.
  • Reply 10 of 74
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,718member
    Hoping the 6th gen nanos go on-sale on the 1st!
  • Reply 11 of 74
    wurm5150wurm5150 Posts: 763member
    So will the shrunken nano still have a camera?
  • Reply 12 of 74
    [/center] tags are necessary in the original post, btw.
  • Reply 13 of 74
    huntercrhuntercr Posts: 140member
    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!
  • Reply 14 of 74
    normmnormm Posts: 555member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 74
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 74
    columbuscolumbus Posts: 281member
    Never mind iPod touch, Apple should introduce some 3G Macs following the success of the 3G iPad.
  • Reply 17 of 74
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by columbus View Post


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



    I?d 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.
  • Reply 18 of 74
    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?
  • Reply 19 of 74
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 74
    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.
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