Redesigned iPod nano due this fall

in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Apple Computer has begun assembling plans and aligning suppliers for a redesign of its iPod nano digital music player that will go on sale this fall, AppleInsider has learned.

Industry contacts with a solid track record of predicting Apple's future music directions say the company, like last year, is shooting to introduce the player in September. While any comment on the device's external design aesthetics would be premature at this time, early engineering plans from the iPod maker signal a "significant internal redesign," these contacts says.

Of course the notion of a new flash memory-based iPod nano making its debut in time for the holiday season is nothing new, especially with PortalPlayer all but blowing the whistle on the subject last week.

In a message to its shareholders, the current iPod nano system-on-a-chip (SoC) supplier announced that it had not been selected to supply its chips for new flash-based iPods due in the second half of the year.

The news has re-ignited an industry-wide debate (or dilemma) over where Apple has or has not turned in its quest to select a more amicable replacement supplier. As ironic as it sounds, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company, which constantly seeks the tightest control of its intellectual property, could once again find itself in bed with Intel Corp.

Although Deborah Conrad, head of Intel's "Apple Group," recently implied that an Intel chip is unlikely to turn up in an iPod any time soon, she did tease of the potential for the two companies to collaborate on other products outside of Macintosh systems.

Still, that hasn't stopped Apple from evaluating Intel's chips, according to Wall Street analyst Shaw Wu, who last August noted that Apple was exploring the use of Intel's XScale embedded processors for future mobile devices like the iPod, along with SoCs from Broadcom and Sharp.

With the jury out on whether an Intel chip will make its way into a future iPod nano, analysts from WR Hambrecht have said that components from Synaptics appear to be a lock. In a report sent to clients earlier this month, analyst Daniel Amir said channel checks showed Synaptics beating out Cypress Semiconductor to supply click-wheel components for a new nano that is "likely to be released this fall."

In his report, Amir estimated the deal could add as much as $10 million to Synaptics' revenue in the second half of the year -- suggesting Apple plans to ramp nano production to all-time highs. The report sent shares of Synaptics up $1.14, or some 4.7 percent.

Last year Apple battled component supply woes after dropping Synaptics as a supplier of the nano's click-wheel technology in favor of going its own route. The decision reportedly played a large roll in a shortage of iPods that hit resellers and customers during the end of the 2005 holiday shopping blitz.

After reinstating Synaptics to help supply components in mid-December, Apple eventually caught up with its iPod nano backlog in January. This year, sources say, the company is hoping to avoid even the slightest of debacles.


  • Reply 1 of 12
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,334member
    One warning, Synaptics... just don't piss off The Steve.
  • Reply 2 of 12
    irelandireland Posts: 17,660member
    "debacle" I like that word. Entire Nano redesign....hmm interesting.
  • Reply 3 of 12
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    A change of an iPod product about a year after its debut isn't a surprising idea. The main iPod has been updated with tech improvements and design changes on an approximately annual cycle. The mini was capacity bumped (or price dropped for same size) & battery bumped about a year after it was introduced.

    I like how thin the nano is but it could have been wider and shorter, to allow for a larger screen and wheel.
  • Reply 4 of 12
    eckingecking Posts: 1,588member
    Time for people's new concept designs to roll in!
  • Reply 5 of 12
    ajpriceajprice Posts: 320member
    At the moment it does look too tall and thin, it would be better if it was the width and height of a credit card, like this phone -

    But not as ugly, obviously!
  • Reply 6 of 12
    reganregan Posts: 474member
    Actually this makes sense. If Apple plans to release a "true" video ipod soon...then I would imagine that they also plan to have the ipod nano to take over the role of "regular" music ipod.

    Think about it. If Apple could somehow get the storage capacity of the nano up to 60 gig levels...then they wouldn't have to worry about forcing people who just want music to buy the upcoming video ipod thats rumored to have a huge screen and virtual touch screen wheel.

    Makes sense to me. :-)
  • Reply 7 of 12
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member

    Originally posted by ajprice

    At the moment it does look too tall and thin, it would be better if it was the width and height of a credit card, like this phone -


    But not as ugly, obviously!

    Ouch, at first, I thought that was a calculator.
  • Reply 8 of 12

    Originally posted by regan

    Think about it. If Apple could somehow get the storage capacity of the nano up to 60 gig levels...

    Not too many paople really need 60gigs for music, but nano with around 20gig capasity would make good "music iPod", people who need more space, can always buy that video iPod, it's not that it wouldn't play music anymore.
  • Reply 9 of 12
    reganregan Posts: 474member
    Yeah. It really depends on the person. I guess the market will play it out.

    I like the nano for its size. Its a great ipod for taking to the gym.

    But I prefer the video/regular ipod because I travel ALOT, and I'm the kind of person that likes to carry my ENTIRE music collection with me. I also have all my language programs loaded on, so I can study on the road. I know for some people its overkill, but personally, I love how convenient it is to have ALL your music at your finger tips. Especially when on the road and far away from home where my imac sits.

    Even though I have a laptop too, I don't want to store ALL my music on it. Laptop HDs are small enough. I rather store my main library on the larger HD of my imac at home and have my ipod carry it when on the go.

    Before my 60 gig photo ipod was stolen, I was like...60 gigs?? I'll never need THAT much storage. But I filled up half of it pretty quick. And I can keep adding to it.

    Video on the ipod is nice. And being a filmmaker/animator I will load some stuff on it to show around. But that is not why I am getting an ipod. I am getting it for music storage first and foremost.

    So that is why I say if Apple in the far future comes out with an ipod nano with 60 gig capacity, I'd get that in a heartbeat over a video ipod. To me music capacity is more important, so that is why I prefer the video ipod over the nano now.

    But thats just me. Everyone is different.

    I may get a small capacity nano for the gym down the road. But for now...the current video ipod suits me fine.
  • Reply 10 of 12

    Originally posted by JeffDM

    Ouch, at first, I thought that was a calculator.

    me too. i kinda like it. looks really geekish.
  • Reply 11 of 12
    ajpriceajprice Posts: 320member
    Yeah, that 1970's calculator chic is all the rage these days .
  • Reply 12 of 12
    maccrazymaccrazy Posts: 2,657member

    Originally posted by JeffDM

    Ouch, at first, I thought that was a calculator.

    so did I!
Sign In or Register to comment.