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The iPod nano is a portable media player with a video camera designed and marketed by Applemarker. The first generation of the iPod nano was introduced in 2005. It uses flash memory, like the iPod Shuffle, but with a 2.2 inch (diagonal) QVGA display and the "click wheel" found on the iPod Classic. The iPod nano has gone through five models, or generations, since its introduction. The fifth generation (current) supports FM radio, video recording, a microphone for voice memos, a pedometer, and a slightly larger screen than that of the previous generation.

Supported audio formats



First generation

Black first-generation iPod nano.
Advertising emphasized the iPod nano's small size: it is 1.6 in (40 mm) width, 3.5 in (90 mm) length, 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 176 x 132 pixels, 1.5 in (38 mm) diagonal, and can display 65,536 colors (16-bit color).

History

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.

Electronics

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¥22,000 and JP¥27,000 (US$185-US$227), which was high compared to the retail price of JP¥21,800 (US$183) at the time. The cost of 2 GB Nano flash memory was about JP¥14,000 (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.

Criticism

The first generation iPod nano packaging.
The size of the package was reduced 50 percent with the introduction of the second generation.
The fourth generation mimics this packaging, while the third generation used a larger but otherwise similar version of it.


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.marker 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 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 Mexicomarker and the United Kingdommarker. As of early 2009, Apple is in the process of settling a court case over the scratched iPod nano screens, it has been suggested for Apple to set aside $22 million to refund users. A Judge will need to sign off 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.

Incidents

In Australia, an iPod nano caught fire while being charged on a PC. Since the limited warranty was over, the consumer was not able to get a replacement right away.

Another iPod incident happened in the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airportmarker while a man was working in the airport. His iPod nano set his pants on fire. Apple Inc. refused to release a statement regarding this issue.

In addition, an iPod nano sparked in Japanmarker in January while it was recharging. Although no one was injured during the incident, Apple Inc. is currently investigating it. It was reported on August 19, 2008 that 17 incidents of abnormal overheating with 1st-generation iPod nano units while recharging had been reported in Japan, including cases in which tatami mats had been charred.

Second generation

On September 12, 2006, Apple updated the Nano line. The second-generation Nano features scratch-resistant, anodized aluminium 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 percent brighter screen. The 2 GB model was 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. On November 3, 2006, Apple introduced a red 8 GB model, due to "outstanding customer demand", while also retaining the same price point of the black model with an equally large storage capacity.

On December 26-27 2006, Apple Computer's website and servers had crashed due to people downloading iTunes software since so many iPods were sold that Christmas season.

Third generation

A black 8 GB third generation iPod nano.
Apple updated the Nano again on September 5, 2007. The third-generation Nano features a QVGA (320 x 240) screen and a shorter, wider, heavier design, with new colors. New features include browsing via Cover Flow, a new user interface and video playback. 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 coming in silver and an 8 GB version 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 8 GB iPod nano.

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 screen has the smallest dot pitch of any Apple product, having the same pixel count as the 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. In July 2008, Apple released update 1.1.3.

Fourth generation

A fourth-generation iPod nano
At the Apple Let's Rock Event on September 9, 2008, the iPod nano 4th Generation was officially announced. It returns to the narrow form factor of the 1st and 2nd Generation model, while retaining and rotating the 2-inch (51 mm) screen from the 3G model. It is also thinner than the 1G, 2G and 3G, measuring 90.7 mm (3.6 inches) tall by 38.7 mm (1.5 inches) wide by 6.2 mm (0.24 inch) thick, and weighing 36.8 grams (1.3 ounces). It has a curved aluminum shell and glass screen (the glass screen being held in place with nothing but the shell). The battery is claimed to 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) have been replaced by silver, black, purple, light blue, green, yellow, orange, red, and pink, for a total of nine, although the Product Red color is only available directly from Apple (website and retail stores). Apple markets the new colors as "nano-chromatic". Also added is 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, can only be played in landscape mode. The user interface has also been refreshed, adding a more stylized look in keeping with the new hardware design. It includes a new voice recording feature which starts automatically when an Apple compatible microphone is plugged in. It also includes 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 is additionally touted as "the most environmentally friendly iPod Applemarker has ever made", containing arsenic-free glass and a BFR-, mercury-, and PVC-free design. It is also claimed to be highly recyclable. The iPod nano 4G is shipped in cases similar to the 2G ones with the clear view in the front, and is marketed in two models: 8 GB and 16 GB. Limited quantities of an unannounced 4 GB model have 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 drops 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 4G iPod nano."

Fifth generation

Fifth-generation iPod nano camera and microphone.
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 is priced at $149 and the 16GB at $179), a new glossy case, larger, 2.2" diagonal screen (up from 2.0" in third and fourth generation iPod nanos), which is also wider, integrated video camera with special effects, microphone, FM Radio with iTunes tagging (via RDS) and Live Pause, Nike+iPod Support and speaker (features more anticipated with the iPod Touch). The 5G iPod nano has 9 finishes: Silver, Black, Purple, Light Blue, Dark Green, Yellow, Orange, PRODUCT RED and Pink. Just like the 4G iPod nano, PRODUCT RED is only available on the Apple Online Store and Apple Retail Store as well as yellow.

Specifications

Generation Pictures Capacity Colors Connection Original release date Minimum OS to sync Rated battery life (hours) Screen (pixels) Onboard RAM Physical Size Weight
1 1 GB Black
White
USB
(FireWire for
charging only)

February 7, 2006 Mac: 10.3.4
Windows: 2000
Audio: 14
Slideshow: 4
176 x 132
0.168 mm dot pitch
32 MB 3.5 in
1.6 in
0.27 in

1.5 oz
(42.5 g)
2 GB September 7, 2005
4 GB
Replaced Mini. Color screen for picture viewing; 1 GB version released later.
2 2 GB Silver USB
(FireWire for
charging only)

September 12, 2006 Mac: 10.3.9

Windows: 2000
Audio: 24
Slideshow: 5
176 x 132
.168 mm dot pitch.
32 MB 3.5 in
1.6 in
0.26 in

1.41 oz
(39.9 g)
4 GB Silver
Blue
Green
Pink




RED Special Edition* October 13, 2006
8 GB Black September 12, 2006
RED Special Edition* November 3, 2006
Anodized aluminium casing with plastic top and bottom; 6 colors available.
3 4 GB Silver USB
(FireWire for
charging only)

September 5, 2007 Mac: 10.4.8
Windows: XP, Vista
Audio: 24
Video: 5
320 x 240
204 ppi
64 MB 2.75 in
2.06 in
0.26 in

1.74 oz
(49.3 g)
8 GB Silver
Light Blue
Light Green
Black
RED Special Edition*



Pink January 22, 2008
2" QVGA screen; lighter color shades and chrome back; new interface; video-playing capability.
4 8 GB Silver
Black
Purple
Blue
Green
Yellow
Orange
Pink
RED Special Edition*







USB September 9, 2008 Mac: 10.4.11
Windows: XP, Vista, 7
Audio: 24
Video: 4
240 x 320
204 ppi
64 MB 3.6 in
1.5 in
0.24 in

1.3 oz
(36.8 g)
16 GB
Curved enclosure and new colors; revised interface; voice recording features; "shake to shuffle"; accelerometer; limited 4 GB models
5 8 GB Silver
Black
Purple
Blue
Green
Yellow*
Orange
Pink
RED Special Edition*







USB

September 9, 2009 Mac: 10.4.11
Windows: XP, Vista, 7
Audio: 24
Video: 5
240 x 376
204 ppi
64 MB 3.6 in
1.5 in
0.24 in

1.28 oz
(36.3 g)
16 GB
Polished aluminium case including a larger screen, video camera, FM radio tuner, and a pedometer. Retains entire color line as fourth generation (except green is deeper).
* - Apple Store exclusive


See also



References

Technical specifications

Footnotes

  1. Apple Settles iPod nano Scratch Lawsuit with $25 Refund
  2. Exploding iPod dies gruesome death, Engadget.
  3. Gadgets: iPod nano Explodes During Charge, Gizmodo.
  4. iPod Sets Man's Pants On Fire - News Story - WSB Atlanta
  5. iPod nano Sparks Investigation in Japan - GridLock - Just another KM / Tech Blog
  6. iPod nano emits sparks, Japan's government says, Tech News on ZDNet.
  7. ???iPod?????????17? (17 overheating incidents involving old iPods while recharging), JNN News, (19 August 2008). Retrieved on 19 August 2008.
  8. Apple - Environment
  9. iPod nano new features
  10. [1]
  11. http://www.apple.com/ipodnano/specs.html


External links




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