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Refurb iPod nano 4G units now $99 and up

Apple is currently offering special limited time pricing on its stock of Certified Refurbished fourth-generation iPod nano units. All 8GB models are now $99, down from the normal price of $129, while the 16GB models are now $149, down from $169; both prices represent a savings of $50 off the retail price of new units. All Apple Certified Refurbished iPods include Apple’s one-year warranty, and are typically limited to the number of units on hand. [via MDN]

Goldgenie unveils Elton John Starburst iPod nanos

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Goldgenie has introduced the new Elton John AIDS Foundation Starburst iPod nano. These customized fourth-generation iPod nano units feature color coordinated Swarovski crystals embedded into surface, as well as John’s signature laser engraved onto the rear. In addition, each Starburst nano also includes “The Rocket Man: The Definitive Collection CD.” Limited to only 100 of each color and capacity, proceeds from sales of these limited-edition units will help raise funds which will go towards helping the millions of HIV and AIDS sufferers worldwide. The Elton John AIDS Foundation Starburst iPod nanos are available for pre-order now for £348 (~$495) for 8GB models and £392 (~$557) for 16GB units. The Starburst iPod nano is expected to begin shipping on February 9.

Lawsuit reveals Apple secretly changed nano in December 2005

Apple has agreed to a $22 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit regarding scratches on the first-generation iPod nano. The case, which dates back to October 2005, alleged that first-gen nano screens “scratch excessively during normal usage, rendering the screen on the nanos unreadable, and violating state consumer protection statutes… and causing Plaintiff class members to incur loss of use and monetary damages.” Apple denied the claims, suggesting that users were subjecting the nanos to unusual forms of abrasion, but quietly made two changes, only one of which was known to the public. In addition to adding cheap sleeve-like cases to the nanos, the settlement reveals that Apple began selling “coated” iPod nano units in December 2005; some, but not all, units sold during this time received the coating. As a consequence, units with some iPod nanos were more susceptible to scratching than others, and the settlement provides differing remedies for different users.

According to the terms of the settlement, customers who did not receive slip cases with their nanos may be entitled to a cash payment of $25, while users who did receive the cases may be entitled to a $15 payment. Those with the scratch protection appear to be entitled to nothing. Of the three different first-generation units we tested in the settlement web site’s serial number verifier, one 4GB model was deemed eligible, while two 1GB units were not. The $22.5 million also includes attorneys’ fees of $4.5 million and litigation expenses of up to $200,000. A judge still needs to sign off on the terms of the settlement; a hearing on the matter has been scheduled for April 28.

Apple releases Software 1.0.3 for iPod nano 4G

Apple has released Software Version 1.0.3 for the fourth-generation iPod nano. According to the company, the update adds support for Apple’s new In-Ear Headphones and Earphones with Remote and Mic, a setting to turn off Cover Flow when rotating, and a Cover Flow menu item in the Music menu. Other changes include fixes for instability issues with the Nike + iPod Sport Kit, problems with album art and photos distorting after playing a slideshow and waking from sleep, respectively, and other general bug fixes. Software Version 1.0.3 for the fourth-generation iPod nano is available now via the Update feature in iTunes.

4GB fourth-generation iPod nanos appear in Europe [updated]

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Following an appearance on Amazon’s German site (Translated link), a number of 4GB fourth-generation iPod nanos have been spotted on store shelves (Translated link) by a Dutch Apple enthusiast website. According to the report, the 4GB model is available in all nine colors and sells for €119 (roughly $169). It is unclear whether the 4GB model is meant as a third option for the European market, or whether Apple is simply trying to get rid of stock produced before the decision to go with only two models (8GB and 16GB) was made. [via Engadget | via iFun.de]

Update: Apple has confirmed the existence of the 4GB fourth-generation iPod nano, with a company spokesperson saying it made a “limited number of 4GB iPod Nanos for some international markets” while declining to reveal which markets would get the devices.

Complete, high-res iPod nano 4G color comparison posted

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Wondering just how the fourth-generation iPod nano colors compare with those from the second- and third-generations? Wonder no more. We’ve just posted a brand new high-resolution photo gallery showing every one of the new iPod nanos, compared against the old colors, so that you can see the differences and similarities for yourself. Expect additional details in our upcoming “Things You Didn’t Know About the New iPods article.”

High-resolution iPod nano 4G photos posted

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We’ve just posted a high-resolution photo gallery of the fourth-generation iPod nano, enabling you to see Apple’s newest miniature flash player in greater detail. The images, which are available in sizes up to 1600x1200 pixels, let you inspect the colors, the curves, and the metal textures up close and personal; we will be posting more soon.

See our extended First Looks at the fourth-generation iPod nano and second-generation iPod touch for more photos.

First Look: iPod nano’s new colors, compared

Following Apple’s Let’s Rock event today, iLounge had the opportunity to compare the colors of the new fourth-generation iPod nano lineup with those of past iPod releases. Below is a gallery of those comparison shots; for more photos from the event be sure to visit our Flickr page.

Apple intros fourth-generation iPod nano

Apple today introduced the fourth-generation iPod nano. Touted by Apple as the thinnest iPod ever made, the new nano sports a curved aluminum design with curved glass, and looks very similar to previous reports. In addition to the new form factor, the new iPod nano features an accelerometer that allows the user to shake the device to enter shuffle mode. A new user interface also appears on the device, offering Genius playlist creation right from the nano, a Cover Flow mode that appears when the device is in landscape orientation, a built-in voice recording app, album art that appears at the bottom as the user scrolls through the traditional interface, and battery life of 24 hours for music and 4 hours for video. The new iPod nano will be available in nine colors — silver, purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, red, black and pink, and will be priced at $149 for the 8GB model and $199 for the new 16GB model.

“The iPod nano is the world’s most popular music player and we’ve made it even better for this holiday season,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We think users are going to love the amazing new design, the automatic Genius playlist creation, as well as automatically going into Cover Flow with just a turn of the wrist.”

Apple also announced new accessories for the iPod nano. New standard headphones will offer in-line play, pause, track skip, and volume control, plus a microphone to work with the nano’s built-in voice recording app. They will be available in October for $29. In addition, new In-Ear Headphones will offer dual drivers, and will sell for $79 when they go on sale in October.

iPod nano 4G case spotted at trade expo

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A new range of third-party cases labeled “for iPod nano 4G” were discovered at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin, Germany over the weekend. The cases, made by Hama, are considerably taller than they are wide, matching the general dimensions for the iPod nano 4G that we first reported on in July. Interestingly, a similar situation developed last year with the third-generation iPod nano, as Uniea began promoting and selling cases for the device before it had been officially announced by Apple.

Apple blames iPod nano fires on faulty battery

Following new reports of first-generation iPod nanos catching fire in Japan, Apple has released a statement on the matter, blaming the issue on faulty batteries and promising a replacement for any customers experiencing battery overheating. The statement reads: “Apple has determined that in very rare cases batteries in first generation iPod nanos sold between September 2005 and December 2006 can overheat causing failure and deformation of the iPod nano. Apple has received very few reports of such incidents (less than 0.001 percent of first generation iPod nano units), which have been traced back to a single battery supplier. There have been no reports of serious injuries or property damage, and no reports of incidents for any other iPod nano model. Any first generation iPod nano customers who have experienced their battery overheating should contact AppleCare for a replacement. Any other customers who have concerns about their first generation iPod nano battery should also contact AppleCare.” In March, Japan launched an investigation into a possible battery defect in the same iPod nano model after earlier reports of battery overheating issues.

Proporta debuts Echo Mirror Case for iPod nano

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Proporta has introduced its Echo Mirror Case for the iPod nano (with video). The Echo is a two-piece hard case that snaps together with a secure closure. It features a mirrored, built-in screen protector that allows use of the nano when the screen is lit, doubling as a mirror when it’s dark. The Echo also offers open access to the nano’s Click Wheel and headphone jack. The Proporta Echo Mirror Case for the iPod nano (with video) is available now and sells for $20.

Bejeweled re-released for iPod classic, iPod nano (video)

As one of seven titles surreptitiously dropped last week from the iTunes Store’s list of iPod Games, due to its lack of compatibility with current-generation iPod classic and iPod nano models, PopCap Games’ Bejeweled ($5) has just been re-released in updated, fully compatible form. As one of the only iPod games to also be available in an iPod touch and iPhone-compatible format—currently free from PopCap’s web site—Bejeweled lets the player make as many matches of colored gems as possible inside an 8-by-8 grid.

Japan launches iPod battery probe

Japan has launched an investigation into a possible battery defect in first-generation iPod nano models following a report of one of the devices shooting out sparks while recharging. Citing an official at the trade and economy ministry, the Associated Press reports that a defect is suspected in the first-generation iPod nano, model number MA099J/A, which was sold from September 2005 to Sept. 2006. The report states that the problem surfaced in January, and Apple notified the ministry of the problem in March. No one was injured in the incident. According to an Apple spokesperson in Tokyo, it is still unclear where else besides Japan the model in question was sold. This follows a forum posting from last week, in which an iPod user claimed that his nano “blew up,” starting a small fire that set off his fire alarm. Last October, a first-gen nano user claimed his unit burst into flames while in his pocket. The ministry has instructed Apple Japan to find out the cause of what it is categorizing as a fire and report back to the government.

Nike + iPod program to expand to gym equipment

Nike and Apple have announced a new initiative that will offer the Nike + iPod experience in gyms worldwide this summer. The two companies are currently working with major gym equipment manufacturers such as Life Fitness, Precor, Star Trac, and Technogym to make their cardio exercise equipment Nike + iPod compatible, so that users can track their workouts on machines like treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes, and stair climbers. Users will plug their iPod nanos directly into the equipment at the beginning of their workout to automatically record their progress. It appears that this will function as an alternative to the Sport Kit, allowing for the same kind of statistic and goal tracking, but using the equipment’s built-in measurement systems instead of the Kit’s wireless components. Users will still be able to log and track their data on nikeplus.com, just as they would if using the Sport Kit. To date, Nike + iPod runners have logged close to 50 million miles on the website, making it the world’s largest running club.

“The Nike + iPod experience revolutionized running. Now we’re revolutionizing the gym cardio experience,” said Trevor Edwards, Nike’s Vice President of Global Brand and Category Management. “We’re enabling people who go to the gym an opportunity to set goals, track progress, and compete in challenges with their friends and with other members of www.nikeplus.com. It’s a groundbreaking tool for people who want to maximize their workouts.”

“The iPod is an essential part of millions of people’s workouts and now users can easily set goals and track their progress with Nike + iPod,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing for iPod. “We’re excited to be working with Nike and leading equipment manufacturers to bring the Nike + iPod experience to the gym.”

Apple’s pink iPod nano colors, compared [updated]

Thinking of purchasing a pink third-generation iPod nano? If you’ve been wondering how the Valentine’s Day-ready iPod stacks up visually to its second-generation predecessor, we have some pictures you’ll want to see.

Like the other third-generation iPod nanos, the new pink nano is less vibrantly colored than its predecessor, but by contrast with the radically dimmed blue, green, and red shades, the difference is small. This year’s pink is still pretty intense, as you can see in the photos inside this article, and doesn’t clash visually with previously released pink iPod accessories. Just like the other colored nanos, it’s available solely in an 8GB capacity for $199.

Updated: By reader request, we’ve added additional photos of the new pink nano compared with earlier iPod nano and shuffle colors.

Apple unveils new pink iPod nano

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Apple has announced that it is adding a new pink iPod nano to its lineup. Like the other non-silver colored iPod nanos, the pink model will be available only in an 8GB capacity. “Customers are going to love the gorgeous new pink iPod nano,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide iPod Product Marketing. “The pink iPod nano is perfect for people who want a great new color this spring, or who are searching for a special Valentine’s Day gift.” The new pink 8GB iPod nano is available now and sells for $199.

First-gen iPod nano bursts into flames at airport

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Danny Williams of Douglasville, GA had his first-generation iPod nano ignite in his pocket while he was working at a kiosk in the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. “So I look down and I see flames coming up to my chest,” said Williams. “I’m still kind of freaked out that after only a year and a half my iPod caught fire in my pocket.” According to reports, Williams’ iPod was in flames for roughly fifteen seconds; he believes that a piece of paper in his pocket with the iPod may have shielded him from the flames, preventing burn injuries. The iPod owner also said that Apple has requested that he send the unit back, and has promised a replacement.

iSuppli nano teardown reveals wide margins for Apple

Market analysis group iSuppli has completed its teardown of the new iPod nano (with video), and estimates the Bill of Materials cost of the 4GB model to be $58.85, giving it the lowest BOM cost of any member of the nano line analyzed by iSuppli. The firm estimates the 8GB model’s BOM cost to be $82.85. While these estimates do not include other costs such as manufacturing, software, intellectual property, accessories, packaging, R&D, or advertising, the company claims the ratio between the 4GB nano’s BOM cost and its retail price of $149 is quite high, even for Apple. Part of this reduction in costs may be attributed to changes in component suppliers. “The changes in components have resulted in significant cost reductions in the nano design, allowing Apple to offer a product that is less expensive to build and that has enhanced features compared to its predecessor,” said Andrew Rassweiler, senior analyst and teardown services manager for iSuppli.

Among these new component suppliers, Micron, Dialog and Intersil — along with the return of Synaptics — the “big winner,” according to iSuppli, was U.S. semicondutor supplier Micron. ISuppli claims this is the first time they have identified a Micron part in an iPod; in the nano torn down by iSuppli, Micron was the manufacturer of the NAND flash memory that serves as the media player’s storage, an estimated $24 part in the 4GB model and $48 in the 8GB. iSuppli notes that while this is a major win for Micron, Apple will likely continue to use Samsung, the world’s largest producer of NAND-type flash, as suppliers of NAND memory. Samsung supplied the combined core video processing chip in the system, which is estimated to cost $8.60.

Apple offers free iPod nano in ‘Major in Mac’ promotion

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Apple has launched a new promotion for college students and faculty, called Major in Mac, which offers a free iPod nano with the purchase of any new Mac. To take part in the promotion, participants must purchase a qualifying Mac and qualifying iPod on the same sales receipt between now and September 16. While the promotion is aimed at the iPod nano, both nanos and fifth-generation iPods qualify for the promotion, which offers a $199 rebate after purchase. Claims can be made both online and through the mail.

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