iPod Nano Model Information
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Instead of the hard disk which is used in the iPod classic, the nano uses flash memory. This means there are no moving parts, making the iPod nano resistant to skipping due to sudden movement.
The iPod nano works with iTunes on Mac OS X or Microsoft Windows (third-party software is available for platforms that Apple does not support, like Linux). It connects to the computer via the same proprietary dock connector as the third-generation iPod, the fourth-generation iPod, and the iPod mini, using USB 2.0. Although it uses the same connection as Apple's FireWire iPod Cable and can charge its battery over FireWire, the iPod nano does not support synchronization over a FireWire connection. The iPod nano includes a stop watch and a multiple time zone clock function. There is also a combination lock feature that makes use of the click wheel to lock the iPod, and serves to secure the user's calendar and contact information.
Like previous iPod models, the first and second generation iPod nano include some pre-installed games: Brick, Music Quiz, Parachute, and Solitaire. The third generation iPod nano includes pre-installed games, but can also run games which Apple makes available for purchase in the iTunes Store.
Advertising emphasized the iPod nano's small size: it is 1.6 in (40 mm) wide, 3.5 in (90 mm) long, 0.27 in (6.9 mm) thick and weighs 1.5 ounces (42 grams). Its stated battery life is up to 14 hours. The screen is 176x132 pixels, 1.5 in (38 mm) diagonal, and can display 65,536 colors (16-bit color).
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) for US$199 and 4 GB (1000 songs) for US$249. On February 7, 2006, Apple updated the lineup with the 1 GB model (240 songs) sold at US$149. 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 tangling earphone cords.
Testing by technology-enthusiast website Ars Technica has shown that even after being sat on, dropped by a jogger, dropped four times from a car moving at various speeds, then being driven over twice by the car, and finally dropped from nine feet onto concrete, the unit's screen was damaged but it could still play music. The unit finally stopped playing music after being thrown 40 feet into the air and landing on concrete.
The iPod nano uses general-purpose integrated circuits (IC) instead of smaller, low cost custom developed chips, possibly to reduce time-to-market. This design, however, increases the number of electronic components and increases the cost. Japanese engineers estimated the component cost of the 2 GB nano as between JP¥22000 and JP¥27000 (US$185-US$227), which was high compared to the retail price of JP¥21800 (US$183) at the time. The cost of 2 GB NAND flash memory was about JP¥14000 (US$118). Apple also opted for the 0603 (1.6x0.8 mm) surface mount technology which was just beginning widespread use in mobile phones in 2005. The iPod nano uses a PortalPlayer PP5021C "system on a chip" with dual embedded 80 MHz ARM 7TDMI processors.
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 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. The mini was not only Apple's most popular MP3 player, it was still the world's best-selling player up to the end of its lifespan; and sales of the mini did not appear to be slowing down. Steve Jobs has 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 have reported fine scratches on their nano caused by microfiber cloths. Other owners reported that their nano's screen cracked with no provocation. On September 27 2005, Apple confirmed a small percentage ("less than 1/10 of 1 percent") of iPod nanos shipped with a faulty screen and agreed to replace any nanos with 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 claim 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. 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.
On September 12 2006, Apple updated the nano line. The second-generation nano features scratch-resistant, anodized aluminum casing like the earlier mini's design; the multiple color choices (silver, green, pink, blue, and black) mirror that of the mini as well. However, unlike the second-generation mini, the button labels do not match the color of the nano. Instead, they are gray, like the first-generation mini, except for the black iPod which has a black click wheel. The second-generation nano features "a brighter, more vibrant display", a battery life upgrade (from 14 to 24 hours), and doubled storage sizes with the new 2, 4, and 8 GB models (compared to the previous 1, 2, and 4 GB models). The second generation iPod nanos also support gapless playback of audio files, a new search option, and a 40% brighter screen. The 2 GB model is available in silver only. The 4 GB was initially available in green, blue, silver, or pink. The 8 GB model was initially only available in black but Product Red was later added. Apple claims that the second generation iPod nano's packaging is "32% lighter and uses 52% less volume than the first generation", thereby reducing environmental impact and shipping cost at the same time.
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 of US$199. On November 3 2006, Apple introduced a red 8 GB model, due to "outstanding customer demand", while also retaining the US$249 price point of the black model with an equally large storage capacity.
Ars Technica conducted similar tests on the second generation nano as they did on the first generation. In their tests, the screen did not last as long; although the nano kept working, its screen was damaged after one hard drop on concrete. A subsequent trip through a washing machine also failed to destroy it, although it did require two days to dry before coming fully back to operational standards..
Apple updated the nano again on September 5, 2007 and made it available the weekend following. The third generation nano features a 2-inch QVGA (320×240) screen and a shorter, wider, heavier design, with new colors. New features include browsing via Cover Flow, a new user interface, video playback, and support for new iPod Games. Users must repurchase games bought before a month prior to the debut of the new iPod as they are not supported. The nano was announced in a 4 GB version at US$149 (UK£99.99) coming only in silver, and an 8 GB version at US$199 (UK£129.99) coming in silver, turquoise, mint green, black and Product Red. The battery lasts 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 8GB iPod nano. It's compatible with:Mac OS Xv10.4.8,Windows XP & Windows Vista.
Combining elements from previous generations of the iPod nano, the third-generation nano has an aluminum front plate and a stainless steel back plate. The nano also sports a new minimalistic hold switch, similar to the iPod shuffle's power switch, which has been moved to the bottom of the player. The 2 inch screen has the smallest dot pitch of any Apple product, having the same pixel count as the 2.5 inch display of the iPod classic.
On October 6, 2007, Apple released a firmware update (1.0.2) via iTunes that is 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. In May 2008, Apple released update version 1.1.2 that fixed some bugs.
Back to previous model, the iPod Mini.
Continue and read about the next model, the iPod Shuffle.