Apple unveils iPod nano (updated) | iLounge News


Apple unveils iPod nano (updated)

imageAt its special event in San Francisco today, Apple introduced the iPod nano, a completely new iPod that’s thinner than a standard #2 pencil and weighs only 1.5 ounces. The iPod mini replacement is available in 2GB ($199) and 4GB ($249) capacities in either white or black designs. The ultra-compact device features a high-resolution color screen, Click Wheel, and offers up to 14 hours of battery life.

“iPod nano is the biggest revolution since the original iPod,” said Apple CEO Steve Jobs. “iPod nano is a full-featured iPod in an impossibly small size, and it’s going to change the rules for the entire portable music market.”

The iPod nano has a standard 30-pin Dock Connector (allowing it to work with many current accessories), is compaible with both Mac and Windows via USB 2.0, and offers the ability to display photos and album art. Because it uses flash memory instead of a tiny hard drive for music storage, it provides completely skip-free playback. The updated iPod software also adds a new stopwatch, world clock and screen lock applications.

The iPod nano is available worldwide immediately through the online Apple Store. Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers will begin receiving shipments on or before this weekend..

imageiPod nano Accessories

Alongside the new iPod nano, Apple announced several new accessories for the device, which the company calls the “most fashionable and wearable iPod ever.” The new gear includes lanyard headphones ($39), which integrate the headphone cables into the lanyard; armbands in five colors, including gray, pink, blue, red and green ($29 each); a set of silicone “Tubes” in five colors, including pink, purple, blue, green and clear ($29); and dock ($29).


iLounge editors Jeremy Horwitz and Dennis Lloyd have had the opportunity to test the iPod nano and check out all of its upcoming accessories. On the accessories front, most interesting is the fact that the new iPod nano Dock is the first such Apple device to include a “variable line-out” port, which attenuates the standard line-out signal downwards from the iPod’s Click Wheel. The company’s silicone “nano Tubes” provide complete protection for the entire iPod nano save its bottom ports, including thin coverage for the Click Wheel and top Hold switch. The lanyard headphones plug simultaneously into the iPod’s bottom headphone port and Dock Connector, using the Connector solely as a securing mechanism and the headphone port as a means to direct headphone audio. Armbands in all of the various colors are similar in perforated arm design to Incase’s recently reviewed iPod and iPod mini neoprene armbands, except open on their tops.

We’ve also learned that the iPod nano will be the company’s first to include the “Universal Dock Adapter,” a plastic plate which guarantees iPod nano docking compatibility with any accessory designed to include it. Nearly 20 companies are already planning products around the UDA design, which is similar to the plastic plates included with speaker accessories from Altec Lansing, Bose, iHome and JBL, and will eliminate the need for participating companies to design iPod-specific plates in the future. The UDA will come in the nano box alongside a USB-to-Dock Connector cable, headphones, the nano hardware, and iTunes 5 software.

We tested the iPod nano briefly with both stock and high-end Ultimate Ears UE-10 Pro earphones, and found the audio quality of the newest iPod to be similar to existing iPods. Bass performance does not appear to have been markedly improved in the nano, and other audio and feature functionality often requested by iLounge readers (enhanced equalizers, FM tuner, etcetera) has not been included. However, the nano’s new stopwatch and lap timer works well, and features a nice metallic interface similar to the one in Apple’s Mac OS X operating system. The new security screen lock and world clock work well and are also easy to set.

The iPod nano will be able to display photos and transfer them from iTunes. According to Apple representatives, it will not be compatible with Apple’s or other photo connectors for straight-to-nano digital picture transfers, and will not be compatible with voice recorder devices, either. Like the iPod mini, nano is solely intended to be a device for media playback and storage, not creation.

Screen quality on the iPod nano is precisely what you’d expect from Apple: highly visible, with bright white backlighting and good resolution comparable to that used on the full-sized color iPod. Despite its small size, it displays text and photographs legibly, and with ease. It duplicates in all key ways the interface of the color iPod, and plays back all the same genres of audio - audiobooks, podcasts, music - without any problems.

Of the new products introduced today, iPod nano is unquestionably the superior, smarter offering. It takes all of the most popular features from the full-sized color iPod and makes them work in a smaller, cheaper enclosure. It’s especially stunning in that it replicates the look and feel of a full-sized iPod in a matching enclosure, rather than shrinking the iPod mini’s anodized aluminum body, as most expected it to do. The black version is especially slick, with its dark gray Click Wheel, but the white version offers familiar beauty in a small size. We cannot wait to provide our full review.

« More than 1,000 iPod accessories now available

Motorola ROKR iTunes phone introduced (updated) »

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Have iPod Photo 40GB (and 3G 20GB).  Am about to buy something smaller.  Was also thinking of switching to Cingular.

But it appears all are USB 2.0 with NO FW support.  Have two current PowerBooks with USB 2.0, FW 400, and FW 800 support, but am not fond of USB 2.0 for anything digital.  Plus have friends and family with relatively new Macs (we don’t do Windows) who don’t have USB 2.0.

Think I’ll wait for phone to increase capacity.  Have many audio books which won’t fit on phone.

And I see no FW support for Nano so won’t buy.  Guess I’ll get a mini.  They appear to still be available at Apple Store, although with no photo capability of course.

BTW, everyone should take note, at least Mac users, that iTunes 5.0 and iPodUpdater 2005-09-06 are now available for download.  iTunes 5.0 has new features.  I suspect that iPod updater mainy adds compatibility for the Nano and a few models which users overlooked with previous update.

Above are also Windows compatible (both) as I recall.

Posted by Glockster on September 7, 2005 at 3:29 PM (CDT)


I like the concept, but it hardly is enough to win the christmas crowd, I feel that this is a warm up for a big announcement next month….

Posted by Brian on September 7, 2005 at 3:30 PM (CDT)


I really think that is the UGLIEST thing I have ever seen in my life.  This includes both electronics and Michael Jackson.  I’m not jealous either as it isn’t near the storage I need.  I guess I don’t like the proportions.  To be honest I saw it at first because iLounge is slow (gee, wonder why…) and laughed.  I thought it was a joke. Oh well.  If I were to buy one, I’d get the black one for sure.

Posted by Dan (papayaninja) on September 7, 2005 at 3:33 PM (CDT)


Well done evolutionary product but not revolutionary as Jobs claims. Apple needs to break the mold and come out with a new-generation design. Maybe the next “big” iPods will do that.

What bothers me is the reduced storage for the same price although color, reduced size and weight, photo support, and longer battery life are nice. Curious business decision as the most popular model, the Mini, is no longer an option.

Posted by B. Smith on September 7, 2005 at 3:36 PM (CDT)


Ideally Motorola will eventually put iTunes in all their phones, which will allow iTunes in the Razr which is really what everyone wants.

However having sold cell phones for five years I have to say Motorola is by far the most bug ridden manufacture of cell phones on the market.  Their C333 was a piece of crap, the V220 breaks down all the time and even their higher end phones like the V635 and Razr have lots of problems.  They’ve got some nice design on the Razr but it just is not reliable. 

I’d hate to see Apple’s iPod brand get tarnished by Motorola’s sloppy quality control.

As for the Nano I ordered one today.  I was looking to get an iPod Mini and the black Nano is what I went for.  I do wish they would have kept up with the Mini though, I like the Mini finish better than the iPods and I also really think having up to 6 gigs is nice.

Still it makes sense for Apple to keep the product lines fairly compact to avoid pulling a Sony and having a bajillion players on the market.

Posted by Jeffery Simpson on September 7, 2005 at 3:37 PM (CDT)


Nice but they still have a month or more to release something better for christmas.
The Nano looks very good especialy in black but i dont think it can take much abuse. I can just see someone sitting down with their new Nano in their pocket and snapping it in two.

I never understood why everyone wanted an itunes phone cause i knew it would be crap.

Posted by Bob on September 7, 2005 at 3:44 PM (CDT)


nano looks very neat

i just want those new firmware features (lock/clock etc…) on my ipod photo/colour…

i’m sure that apple will be updating the colour firmware to include those new snazzy features very soon… (they have to anyway to take into account the new shuffle method and the playlist grouping!)

Posted by me101 on September 7, 2005 at 3:46 PM (CDT)


I’d rather they had scrapped the shuffle and replaced it with this instead of scrapping the mini.  My first impression on seeing it was that this is the machine the shuffle should have been.  Shame it costs more for less storage.  Pretty nice device, but rather overhyped, I’d say!

Posted by phennphawcks on September 7, 2005 at 3:47 PM (CDT)


I’ve been looking at getting a shuffle for when I work out and go for my bike rides… but now I think I have a better option.

Posted by Scott Mason on September 7, 2005 at 3:48 PM (CDT)


i just checked apple’s website, the gallery includes pictures of it in black… its very very hot….

Posted by ahmad alasker on September 7, 2005 at 3:55 PM (CDT)


I WANT IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by matt on September 7, 2005 at 4:15 PM (CDT)


I did alot of research in all of the gossip before hand and i’m surprised that all of it came true for the mini. Except that it was supposed to be $200 for 4G and $250 for 6G and $300 for 8G.
But at the same time you have to remember that this is flash memory not harddrive. If you look at it that way, it’s pretty cheap. iRiver’s new color flash player is $200 for a 1G.
I’m really glad to see that they went with flash instead of harddrive since it’s more dependable and is skip free.
I do think its kind of ugly with the big action button and the long design. And especially the headphone port being on the bottom! It probably isn’t so bad, and i can’t say that it is with out trying it, but you’d always have to where it upside down! Maybe so the arm band is more usful? and maybe it’s for that necklace thing (lanyard)?

Posted by Jonny K on September 7, 2005 at 4:16 PM (CDT)


This is it.. very hot, this will be king for xmas.. perfect timing to get enough product into the pipeline for holidays.

Get over the minis, folks. I have one and love it… but nano is 10x better.

The phone sucks. The wheel would have been a perfect interface. Moto blew it. They must be pissed to, that Apple intro’d the nano and upstaged them BIG time.

Posted by TJ on September 7, 2005 at 4:17 PM (CDT)


Looks awesome, can’t wait to see one in person…one thing though: why is the headphone port on the BOTTOM of the unit??? Is it just me or does that seem a little inconvenient?

Posted by Greg on September 7, 2005 at 4:18 PM (CDT)


Well, I was a little shocked.  I mean, why rename this the nano???  The only reason I can see is a possible use of the mini name in the future, keeping the same form factor as the past mini but adding a bigger hard drive and a color screen.  The nano is the right size, and I’m sure we’ll see an increase in capacity as flash memory get’s cheaper, just like we’ve seen in the hard drive based players.  I’m not a big fan of the look of the black or white ones.  I’m really surprised they copied the design cues from the full size.  I would have expected more from apple. Anyway, I’m sure a revamp of the full size is coming soon because that line is getting old and boring.  I won’t be replacing my 4g 40gb or my 512mb shuffle any time soon.

Posted by Brett B. on September 7, 2005 at 4:18 PM (CDT)


They’re going to sell 2.7 gajillion Nanos.

Posted by Brian on September 7, 2005 at 4:23 PM (CDT)


apple just took a giant dump on being creative. why dont i just sit in my 20 gb for about half a day. i wouldnt jump to the store if i were u. maybe steve jobs should hire some one like me .. not no yoko uno working in a japaneese sweatshop ....

Posted by Danny on September 7, 2005 at 4:49 PM (CDT)


i only like that there is a black version of the nano. I wish they come out with a black iPod, not the U2 version.

Posted by Jhego on September 7, 2005 at 4:54 PM (CDT)


So there seem to be three camps:

1. “The Nano is great. Smaller, lighter, skip-free, color screen. Worth the loss of GB, now that full size iPods cost just $50 more anyway.”

2. “The Nano looks too different from other iPods. The change in the proportions of the rectangle are upsetting to me, and the center button looks disturbingly larger in comparison to the smaller wheel.”

3. “The Nano looks too similar to other iPods. I don’t like how other iPods look, I want a totally new look.”

4. “Even though this is cheaper than competing products which are bulkier and harder to use, it’s still a rip-off. It’s Apple’s fault that flash memory costs more than HD storage.”

I think that sums it up :)

Posted by Nagromme on September 7, 2005 at 5:02 PM (CDT)


I had to add an additional camp, #1, since that’s me :)

Posted by Nagromme on September 7, 2005 at 5:12 PM (CDT)

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