Print 35 comment(s) - last by kmmatney.. on Sep 8 at 12:15 AM

Rendering of what the new iPod nano might look like  (Source: Gizmodo)
Since the iPhone's release, Apple has been silent about new iPod/iPhone designs. It appears that Apple is about to break its silence on Sept 5th and release at least one new iPod.

Apple made a special announcement, on Wednesday, August 29, which has the internet abuzz with rumors. Apple announced that it is inviting the press to a "special event" in San Francisco.

The invitation was titled "The beat goes on," and includes an image of a man, silhouetted and dancing with an iPod, in the graphic style of the iconic iPod commercials, on the cover of an album displayed in the style of Apple's "Cover Flow" technology, which allows users to flip through their music on their iPhones or desktop computers.

Forbes speculates this message likely indicates that Apple is preparing to release one or more new iPod models.

The iPod has been Apple's commercial wonder kid in recent years and the announcement of a new iPod is critical to Apple's continued success.  Forbes elaborates:
Sales of iPods alone accounted for 29.1% of Apple's sales of $5.4 billion for the quarter ending June 30. And if anything, that understates the iPod's importance. The tiny media players helped Apple crank out $608 million in sales of digital music and accessories.
For weeks now, the internet has been inundated with reports and tech blog posts claiming to have "inside" or "leaked" information on the new iPods, even before this announcement.

The LA Times reports having interviewed two unnamed music executives who claimed that Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO, revealed to them his plan to build a vastly improved version of the iPod with a larger video screen, a touch-screen interface and other features similar to Apple's iPhone.  These representatives asked the Times not to name them, due to their confidentiality agreement.

Further reports of this full screen video iPod appeared on the blog ThinkSecret, which cites a source at Apple as confirming the existence of this iPod, but refuted previous reports of a 3.5" screen width, mentioning that it would actually have a 4" screen.

Additionally, a report by the blog Infinite Loop claims to have information from sources in the "far east" who allegedly corroborate the rumor of a full screen iPod, and additionally claim to have worked with a revised traditional screen iPod.  The sources claim both new iPods run on a modified version of OS X.  The possibility of new iPod models running OS X is a widely speculated possibility for these new iPods.

Infinite Loop also points out that the September 5th announcement comes almost on the anniversary of the introduction of the original iPod Nano, 2 years ago on September 7, 2005.

Another very widespread rumor is that there will likely be new iPod Nano designs with 8 and 16 gb NAND flash memory capacities.

Finally, one more rumor about the iPod Nano is it is getting shrunk. This rumor stems from a purportedly leaked design shot, dubbed the "fat nano," which was posted on the tech blog Gizmodo.  Apple's legal team asked the site to take the shot down. Gizmodo, has since confirmed the shot was indeed Apple intellectual property.  The site, following Apple's orders, took the shot down and replaced it with a shot they rendered in Photoshop, which looks identical to the original, in their opinion.

Despite all these rumors and reports, the only official news from Apple is that there is none--yet.  The official word from Apple will be coming on September 5.  Until then, be discerning, as many of the rumors out there may be just that, rumors.  The article in Forbes warns us not to get too excited, Steve Jobs once held a similar press conference to announce the launch of a set of iPod speakers.  Stay tuned, though, because the official announcement is coming fast, and it may be big.

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RE: Touchscreen? are you insane?
By kelmon on 9/4/2007 6:49:50 AM , Rating: 1
You, sir, are bonkers. A touchscreen would allow Apple to provide a bigger screen without needing to increase the size of the unit. Tactile response is not a requirement for such a unit (someone else suggested that they needed this in order to change the track with the iPod in his pocket but obvious what they REALLY wanted was a remote control) and moving to on-screen controls allows Apple to use the screen space more efficiently or even change the interface as appropriate.

The only caveat with this is that if an on-screen interface is employed then it needs to work well. The iPhone, however, does imply that this can be done so I'm really looking forwards to a video iPod based on the same principles.

With respect to watching video on an iPod or similar small-screen device, it's personal preference of course but I use it a lot. I wouldn't really want to use it to watch a long movie but it's great for television shows or video podcasts when you don't wish to be mucking around with a laptop or similar. Traveling has become much more enjoyable since I bought my first iPod last year and ripped a load of DVDs to it.

By rdeegvainl on 9/4/2007 7:15:44 AM , Rating: 3
Why would someone want a remote control for something that is the size of a remote control?
It doesn't make sense, If Chewbaca lived on Endor, you must acquit!

By Bluestealth on 9/4/2007 1:21:34 PM , Rating: 2
Well they could have a touchscreen but they need to keep a play/pause, next track, power, and lock/unlock button/switch imho; they might also want to optionally keep volume controls. A maximum of 6 buttons that I am suggesting.

I am not mandating that they keep a click wheel. You could easily squeeze all these buttons onto the side of the display or the actual side of the device.
Why would I want a remote? I am not going to actually use it that much, I just like being able to flip tracks quickly without looking at the device.

This is also something that kills the iPhone dead for me... I always dial with my fingers, unless its a number I don't know. Tactile response is far superior in a large number of cases.

I realize now that I may have been a little... well... unreasonable in my first reply, but Apple's hate of tactile interfaces is somewhat mind boggling to me. Its nice when you can pick something up and just use it by touch, its something I've come to expect with well designed interfaces.

By TomCorelis on 9/4/2007 11:26:00 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry, but the click wheel needs to stay. The one thing touchscreens and side buttons don't give you is through-the-pants-pocket tactile response. If I have my ipod in my pocket, it takes almost zero effort to control the volume or track position without having to look at the screen, through my pants pocket! It probably looks weird that some dude is randomly rubbing the side of his leg with his finger, but really I'm turning the click wheel, pausing the thing, skipping to the next track, even scrubbing the track I'm in to go back a few minutes.

People go nuts over touchscreens. Why? It's great if you want to sit and stare at your screen every time you use it... but practically it's not a good idea as you don't use your ipod like you use a phone. I want to be able to control the thing without taking it out, without skipping a beat. If I'm running on an eliptical at the gym, I don't want the machine yelling at me just because I took both my hands off the pulse sensor for more than a few seconds.

In my opinion, the ONLY reason the iPod rocks is cause the click wheel. They've nailed it down perfect in the later iterations. I hope to God they don't change it.

"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs
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