The iPod and dedicated MP3 market is in decline (Apple's fiscal 2012 results reported a 21 percent decline year-over-year from the last winter quarter) — no thanks to the smartphones and tablets. How might Apple revive its once mighty money printer? By redesigning the iPod Nano.
Japanese Apple blog Macotara reports Apple's seventh-generation iPod Nano will see a return to the elongated design that was dropped after the fifth-generation. The current iPod Nano released in 2010 eschewed the Click Wheel and video camera in favor of a 240x240 pixel touchscreen and a clip (just like the one on the iPod Shuffle).
Macotara believes a return to the Nano's roots are in order and along for the ride will be the Home button that is found on Apple's iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch products. At this time, the site is not sure if the new Nano will run on any version of iOS or if it will be a running the same OS as the current Nano, that looks like iOS but is only skinned to be so.
There's an identity crisis within the iPod family now. Apple's newest cash cows are the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. An elongated iPod Nano with a Home button feels like it might start stepping into iPod Touch territory. Basically, the new iPod Nano would be like an iPod Touch Nano. Can two such devices co-exist? Or will Apple give the iPod Touch the shaft (unlikely)?
In many ways, Apple returning back to the long iPod Nano form factor feels right. The current iPod Nano, despite the many iWatch accessories it spawned always felt like it should have been the iPod Shuffle's successor. Because of its it tiny size and clip, it was almost too Nano to be an iPod Nano.
I know I loved my second-gen iPod Nano. When people griped about the third-gen iPod Nano aka the iPod "fatty," Apple responded by returning back to the long and skinny form factor the following year. Apple's tendency to return back to old designs and give them a fresh coat of paint is one of its strongest assets.
Would a new iPod Nano priced aggressively sell like hotcakes even virtually everybody has an iPod? You betcha. That my friend is how you teach an old dog new tricks: with makeup.