Apple's 7th Generation iPod Nano.
|Type||Portable media player|
|Retail availability||September 7, 2005–present|
|Storage capacity||16 GB flash memory|
|Display||TFT LCD 240×432 at 202 PPI|
|Input||Multi-touch touchscreen, accelerometer|
|Connectivity||Lightning connector, 3.5 mm headphone jack (TRS connector), Bluetooth 4.0|
|Related articles||iPod Classic
The iPod Nano (stylized, and marketed as iPod nano) is a portable media player designed and marketed by Apple Inc. The first generation iPod Nano was introduced on September 7, 2005 as a replacement for the iPod Mini. It uses flash memory for storage. The iPod Nano has gone through several differing models, or generations, since its introduction: The current seventh generation iPod Nano was released in October 2012.
Development work on the design of the iPod Nano started only nine months before its launch date. The Nano was launched in two colors (black and white) with two available sizes: 2 GB (roughly 500 songs) and 4 GB (1000 songs). On February 7, 2006, Apple updated the lineup with the 1 GB model (240 songs). Apple also released some accessories, including armbands and silicone "tubes" designed to bring color to the Nano and protect it from scratches, as well as a combination lanyard-earphone accessory that hangs around the neck and avoids the problem of tangled earphone cords.
First generation 
On September 7, 2005, Apple introduced the iPod Nano at a media event with Steve Jobs pointing to the small watch pocket in his jeans and asking, "Ever wonder what this pocket is for?" Advertising emphasized the iPod Nano's small size: 40 millimetres (1.6 in) wide, 90 millimetres (3.5 in) long, 6.9 millimetres (0.27 in) thick and weighing 42 grams (1.5 oz). The stated battery life was up to 14 hours, while the screen was 176×132 pixels, 38 millimetres (1.5 in) diagonal, displaying 65,536 colors (16-bit color). 1, 2, and 4 GB capacities were available.
Second generation 
On September 25 , 2006, Apple updated the Nano line. The second-generation Nano featured scratch-resistant, anodized aluminum casing like the earlier Mini's design; the multiple color choices mirrored those of the Mini as well. However, unlike the second-generation Mini, the button labels were grey instead of matching the Nano's casing (except for the black Nano in which it had, which had a black click wheel). The second-generation Nano featured a 40% brighter, "more vibrant" display, a battery life upgrade (from 14 to 24 hours), and storages sizes doubled to 2, 4, and 8 GB models. The second generation also introduced gapless playback of audio files, along with a new search option.
The 2 GB model was available in silver only. The 4 GB was initially available in green, blue, silver, or pink, and the 8 GB model was initially only available in black - red was later added for 4 and 8 GB models. Apple claimed that the second generation iPod Nano's packaging was "32% lighter with 52% less volume than the first generation", thereby reducing environmental impact and shipping costs.
On October 13, 2006, Apple announced a special edition iPod Nano; Product Red, with a red exterior and 4 GB of storage. For each red iPod Nano sold in the United States, Apple donates US$10 to the Product Red initiative, while retaining the regular price. On November 3, 2006, Apple introduced a red 8 GB model, due to "outstanding customer demand", again retaining the same price point of the equivalent black model.
Third generation 
Apple updated the Nano again on September 5, 2007. The third-generation Nano featured a 2-inch (51 mm) QVGA (320 x 240) screen and a shorter, wider, heavier design, with new colors. New features included browsing via Cover Flow, a new user interface, video playback, and support for new iPod Games. Users had to repurchase games bought a month before the debut of the new iPod as they were not supported. The Nano was announced in a 4 GB version coming in silver and an 8 GB version coming in silver, turquoise, mint green, black, and Product Red. The battery lasted for approx. 24 hours on audio playback and approx. 5 hours on video playback. On January 22, 2008, Apple released a pink version of the 8 GB iPod Nano.
Combining elements from previous generations of the iPod Nano, the third-generation Nano had an aluminum front plate and a stainless steel back plate. The Nano also sported a new Minimalistic hold switch, similar to the iPod Shuffle's power switch, which had been moved to the bottom of the player. The 2-inch (51 mm) screen had the smallest dot pitch of any Apple product, having the same pixel count as the 2.5-inch (64 mm) display of the iPod Classic.
On October 6, 2007, Apple released a firmware update (1.0.2) via iTunes that was said to improve Cover Flow and yield faster menu navigation. The update was also released for the iPod Classic. On November 28, 2007, Apple released another firmware update (1.0.3) via iTunes, which included unspecified bugfixes. January 15, 2008 saw the release of version 1.1, which added support for iTunes movie rentals, music song lyrics support and included more unspecified bugfixes. Apple released update version 1.1.2 in May 2008 and version 1.1.3 in July 2008 with even more bug fixes.
Fourth generation 
At the Apple Let's Rock Event on September 9, 2008, the iPod Nano Fourth Generation was officially announced. It returned to the narrow form factor of the 1st and 2nd Generation model, while retaining and rotating the 51-millimetre (2.0 in) screen from the 3rd gen model. It was also thinner than the first, second, and third generation nano, measuring 90.7 millimetres (3.57 in) tall by 38.7 millimetres (1.52 in) wide by 6.2 millimetres (0.24 in) thick, and weighing 36.8 grams (1.30 oz). It had a curved aluminum shell and glass screen (the glass screen being held in place with nothing but the shell). Apple claimed the battery would last 24 hours of music playback, and only 4 hours of video playback, compared to the 5 hours of the previous generation.
The six previous colors (silver, black, mint, turquoise, berry red, and rose pink) were replaced by silver, black, purple, light blue, green, yellow, orange, red, and pink, for a total of nine, although the Product Red color was only available directly from Apple (website and retail stores). Apple marketed the new colors as "nano-chromatic". Also added was an accelerometer which allows the Nano to shuffle songs by shaking it, the option between portrait and landscape display modes by tilting the iPod left or right, and access to Cover Flow when tilted sideways. Videos, however, could only be played in landscape mode. The user interface was also refreshed, adding a more stylized look in keeping with the new hardware design. It included a new voice recording feature which started automatically when an Apple compatible microphone is plugged in. It also included the new "Genius" feature, introduced by Apple the same day. The Genius feature automatically creates playlists based on a selected song using an algorithm built by Apple.
It was additionally touted as "the most environmentally friendly iPod Apple has ever made", containing arsenic-free glass and a BFR-, mercury-, and PVC-free design. It was also claimed to be highly recyclable. The iPod Nano fourth-generation was shipped in cases similar to the sencond-generation ones with the clear view in the front, and is marketed in three models: 4 GB (limited production to Europe only) and 8 GB and 16 GB. Limited quantities of an unannounced 4 GB model surfaced in various markets. Also, the iPod Quiz game was dropped and replaced with a Maze game which makes use of the iPod's accelerometer similarly to such games on the iPhone and iPod Touch.
The fourth generation dropped support for charging via FireWire. "This change means that any dock accessories that use the dock connector's FireWire pins to send power—many older speakers and car chargers, for example—will not charge the fourth-generation iPod Nano."
Fifth generation 
At Apple's September 9, 2009 event, a fifth generation iPod Nano was unveiled with reduced prices on the larger model (at the time of release, the 8GB was priced at $149 and the 16GB at $179), a larger, 56.3 millimetres (2.22 in) diagonal screen (up from 50.8 millimetres (2.00 in) in third and fourth generation iPod Nanos), which was also wider, integrated video camera with 16 special effects, microphone, FM Radio with iTunes tagging (via RDS) multiple radio regions including Americas, Asia, Australia, Europe, and Japan.
As well as continuing to support picture viewing and video playback, it also included Live Pause, a built-in pedometer, Nike+iPod Support and a speaker. This model also had the Genius Mix feature installed.
The headphone jack and dock connector swapped locations so that the headphone jack was to the left of the dock connector. Therefore the fifth generation iPod Nano used a different Apple Universal Dock insert than the fourth generation.
The fifth generation iPod Nano had nine finishes: Silver, Black, Purple, Blue, Yellow, Orange, Product Red, Green and Pink. All have a glossier, shinier finish than the fourth generation. Just like the fourth-generation iPod Nano, Product Red and the yellow Nano were only available on the Apple Online Store and Apple Retail Store.
This generation was discontinued on September 1, 2010.
Sixth generation 
At a media event on September 1, 2010, Apple announced the sixth generation iPod Nano, which, among many new features, was designed around a high resolution square touch-screen.
The device featured a small 1.55 inch multi-touch screen with a lower resolution of 240×240 pixels but a higher pixel density of 220 pixels per inch, as opposed to the larger 2.2 inch screen on the fifth-generation iPod Nano. The device had a 0.38 watt-hour battery rated at 3.7 volts, giving a capacity of 105 mAh, and specified to give 24 hours of music playback on a single full charge. The device took about three hours for one full charge. The device retained the same 30-pin dock connector as previous generations. This Nano lost the previous generation's video camera, built-in voice recorder (although plugging in headphones with a built in microphone revealed a Voice Memos app) and built-in speaker, and games. It also lost support for video playback, but music videos and video podcasts (vodcasts) could be synced onto the device, and the audio from them would play on the device, with a single key-frame shown on the screen. It still included the Nike+iPod fitness option as well as an FM radio tuner. It had a black on white screen contrast option and other accessibility options. The 6th generation iPod Nano had the same price point as the 5th generation device.
A firmware update (version 1.1) for the Nano was released on February 28, 2011. The update added the ability to change songs or pause with a double click of the sleep/wake button. It also added the ability to turn the device off by holding the sleep/wake button. The user interface was also enhanced. On October 4, 2011, the iPod Nano 1.2 update was unveiled at the Apple "Let's Talk iPhone" event at the Town Hall, 4 Infinite Loop. This update added the option to increase or decrease the size of the home buttons for easier use. The update also added a better fitness app, which had a better pedometer split into walking and running style. The update also included 16 new clock faces, which included designs like a Nixie tube clock face or an old-style clock face, and Disney licensed designs, such as Mickey Mouse and Kermit the Frog, bringing to a total of 18 clock faces. Three more background images were also added. Many watch bands for the iPod Nano were available at Apple stores.
Seventh generation 
Apple announced the seventh generation iPod Nano on September 12, 2012. The (maximum) internal storage capacity has not been increased compared with the previous model but only a single, 16GB version of the seventh generation iPod nano was announced at the product launch. It has been described as the "thinnest iPod nano yet", 38% thinner (5.4 mm) than the nano it replaces (8.78 mm).
|Generation and Appearance||Capacity||Colors||Connection||Original release date||Minimum OS to sync||Rated battery life (hours)||Screen (pixels)||Audio processor||On-board RAM||Physical size||Weight||Retail Price|
|February 7, 2006||Mac: 10.3.4
iTunes 5 or later
0.168 mm dot pitch
|32 MB||89 mm
|2 GB||September 7, 2005|
|Replaced Mini. Color screen for picture viewing; 1 GB version released later.|
|12 September 2006||Mac: 10.3.9
iTunes 7 or later
0.168 mm dot pitch.
|32 MB||89 mm
|(Product) Red Special Edition [note 1]||October 13, 2006|
|8 GB||Black||September 12, 2006|
|(Product) Red Special Edition [note 1]||November 3, 2006|
|Anodized aluminium casing with plastic top and bottom; 6 colors available.|
|September 5, 2007||Mac: 10.4.8
iTunes 7.4 or later
|32 MB||70 mm
(Product) Red Special Edition [note 1]
|Pink||January 22, 2008|
|51 mm QVGA screen; lighter color shades and chrome back; new interface; video-playing capability.|
(Product) Red Special Edition [note 1]
|USB||September 9, 2008||Mac: 10.4.11
iTunes 8 or later
|Cirrus Logic CS42L58||32 MB||91 mm
|Curved enclosure and new colors; revised interface; voice recording features; "shake to shuffle"; accelerometer; limited 4 GB models|
Yellow [note 2]
(Product) Red Special Edition [note 1]
|USB||September 13, 2009||Mac: 10.4.11
iTunes 9 or later
0.3 megapixel camera
|Cirrus Logic CLI1480A||64 MB||91 mm
|Polished aluminium case including a larger screen, video camera, FM radio tuner, Recorder and a pedometer. Retains entire color line as fourth generation.|
(Product) Red Special Edition [note 1]
|USB||September 1, 2010||Mac: 10.5.8
iTunes 10 or later
|Cirrus Logic CLI1544C0||64 MB||37.5 mm
|Multi-touch screen. No click-wheel, camera, or video playback. The 1.1 OS update brought the ability of turning off by holding the wake/sleep button. Same price range as the 5th generation, except in Europe, Japan and Australia. Features iOS-like interface design and still contains "shake to shuffle", FM radio, and pedometer. The 1.2 OS update added built-in accelerometer support which works with Nike+iPod without the need to attach a Nike receiver or shoe sensor.|
(Product) Red Special Edition [note 1]
|USB||October 12, 2012||Mac: 10.6.8
iTunes 10.7 or later
|New, larger 2.5 inch Multi-Touch screen. Unibody now made of anodized aluminium. Also, with larger screen, supports video playback. Dock connection is now the smaller Lightning connector.|
Supported audio formats 
- AAC (8 to 320 kbit/s)
- Protected AAC (from the iTunes Store)
- MP3 (8 to 320 Kib/s, including variable bitrate files)
- Audible (formats 2, 3 and 4)
The initial consumer response to the iPod Nano was overwhelmingly positive and sales were heavy. The Nano sold its first million units in only 17 days, helping Apple Inc. to a record billion-dollar profit in 2005.
Apple's release of the iPod Nano as a replacement for the iPod Mini was viewed by many as a risky move. Steve Jobs argued that the iPod Nano was a necessary risk since competitors were beginning to catch up to the iPod Mini in terms of design and features, and believed the iPod Nano would prove to be even more popular and successful than the iPod Mini.
Within days of the Nano's release, some users reported damage to the Nano, suggesting that the LCD screen had become so scratched that it was unreadable, even when the backlight was on. Many reported fine scratches on Nanos, caused by microfiber cloths. Other owners reported that their Nano's screen cracked without use of excessive force. On September 27, 2005, Apple confirmed that a small percentage ("less than 1/10 of 1 percent") of iPod Nanos shipped with a faulty screen and agreed to replace any that had cracked screens, but denied the iPod Nano was more susceptible to scratching than prior iPods. Apple started shipping iPod Nanos with a protective sleeve to protect them from scratches. In October 2005 a class action lawsuit was filed against Apple, with the plaintiffs seeking reimbursement for the device, legal fees, and "unlawful or illegal profits" from sales of the iPod Nano. Lawyers for the plaintiffs claimed that the devices "scratch excessively during normal usage, rendering the screen on the Nanos unreadable, and violating state consumer protection statutes". Similar lawsuits were later filed in Mexico and the United Kingdom. In early 2009, Apple was in the process of settling a court case over the scratched iPod Nano screens. It was suggested that Apple should set aside $22 million to refund users. At the time, it required a Judge's sign-off on the terms by April 28, 2009. Some commentators such as BusinessWeek's Arik Hesseldahl have criticized the lawsuits. Hesseldahl dismissed them as "stupid" and suggested that they benefitted "no one but the trial lawyers," but also suggested that Apple could have avoided litigation by offering "full refunds on unwanted Nanos" instead of charging a re-stocking fee and lengthening the return period from 14 days (when purchased through Apple retail or online) to 30 or 60 days.
In another incident, a man's iPod Nano set his pants on fire while he was working at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Apple Inc., refused to release a statement regarding this issue.
In addition, an iPod Nano sparked in Japan in January while it was recharging. Although no one was injured during the incident, Apple Inc. investigated the incident. It was reported on August 19, 2008 that 17 incidents of abnormal overheating with first-generation iPod Nano units while recharging had been reported in Japan, including cases in which tatami mats had been charred. On August 10, 2010, Apple Japan released a statement saying that it would replace any iPod Nanos that overheated.
Since 2010, users have been reporting the 6th generation iPod nano's sleep/wake button remains stuck after months of use, making it impossible to activate the device without the help of a computer or a dock accessory.  According to a technical inspection, the device uses a double-sided tape to hold the button in place, indicating a possible design fault.
On November 11, 2011, Apple announced the iPod nano (1st generation) Replacement Program, intended to address concerns over overheating batteries. Customers with affected devices can fill out a claim form to confirm eligibility for replacement. Defective devices will be replaced within six weeks and will carry 90-day warranties. Customers who have personalized iPod nano devices will not be able to receive personalization on their replacement devices. During the replacement process, there have been several reports of users receiving an iPod nano 6th generation as replacement instead of the expected 1st generation device that users sent in during the recall. Because using the iPod nano 6th generation with a Mac computer requires iTunes 10 or higher, which in turn requires Mac OS X Leopard system software, Apple will upgrade the system software of participants running earlier versions of OS X, on request but this leaves users that do not have access to iTunes without a working device (because Apple changed the hashing of the music database which prevented the 6th generation iPod Nano from being used with open source software via libgpod.).
Timeline of compact iPod models
Technical specifications 
- First generation
- Second generation
- Third generation
- Fourth generation
- Fifth generation
- Sixth generation
- Seventh generation
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