The iPod Nano: A History Of Apple Quirkiest iPod [Gallery]



When the original iPod nano was introduced on September 7, 2005, it was one of Apple’s greatest design achievements. In a bold move, Apple decided to replace their iPod Mini with the unbelievably small iPod nano, even though the 2nd-gen Mini had only been on the market for eight months and was the popular iPod.

Over the last eight years, the iPod Nano has experienced more design changes than any other Apple product. It’s gone from metal to plastic, tall to fat, and click-wheel to touch, with more color changes than a chameleon. 


2005 – First Generation iPod Nano

People marveled at the 0.27inch thinness of the first iPod Nano. It came with a 176×132 pixel screen and only weighed 1.5ounces. There were only two color options (black and white) and the max storage capacity was 4GB.






2006 – Second Generation iPod Nano

Apple didn’t do much redesigning with the second generation iPod nano. They changed the casing to an anodized aluminium available in six different colors. Max capacity was bumped up to 8GB, but the product was very similar to the 1st-gen Nano.


2007 – Third Generation iPod Nano

Apple changed the body of the third generation iPod nano so it was shorter and fatter that its predecessor to accomodate its 320x240pixel screen that could now play video. It came in six colors and a max capacity of 8GB.


2008 – Fourth Generation iPod Nano

The iPod Fatty didn’t last too long. Apple went back to the taller body similar to previous generations but kept the same 240×320 display for video. The body had a curved enclosure, revised interface, and a new “shake to shuffle” feature.


2009 – Fifth Generation iPod Nano


Even though the body shape stayed the same for the 5th-gen iPod nano, Apple added a polished aluminium finish and a larger screen. They also added a 0.3 megapixel video camera on the back, FM tuner, built-in speaker, and voice recorder. It came in 10 different colors and 16GB of storage.


2010 – Sixth Generation iPod Nano

The design of the 6th-gen iPod nano shocked everyone. Apple shrunk the size down to a 1.55inch multi-touch screen and removed the video camera, built-in speaker, and video playback. A clip was added to the back of the device and many iPod owners turned it into a watch.






2012 – Seventh Generation iPod nano

After two year with the small 6th-gen iPod nano, Apple redesigned the device again. It now features a 2.5inch multi-touch screen with a 240×432 resolution. The device also has an accelerometer, FM Radio, Bluetooth, Lightning connector, and supports video playback.





  • vctr

    I remember reading somewhere (I think it was a quote by Jony Ive) that in terms of design, the iPod Nano is where they like to take a lot of liberties and experiment. This year’s update seems to back this up.

  • JoachimArt

    My fav design was the 2006, it felt sturdy and simple. 2007 was crap in comparison.

  • Buster

    My fav design was the 2006, it felt sturdy and simple. 2007 was crap in comparison.

    funny, i actual think 2006 was boring compared to 2005, and 2007’s Fatty Nano was my all-time favorite

  • iSteve

    If Steve was here, I doubt that this model of Nano would have been out.

  • SamuelBrock

    I hope they bring back the watch form factor in some other product line. Probably just wishful thinking.

  • iPear

    The new models are really nice. The only thing that bugs me is that they’ve made round icons; It just doesn’t fit into the rest of the design concept.

  • Francisco García

    I don’t like the new iPod nano, it looks like a prototype.

  • itskittibitch

    2009 was the best.

  • Eddie Chu

    A friend of mine who once worked at Apple characterized the Nano team as a built-in experimental project, that was about finding the best people internally to push onto the better projects, as well as a place to experiment with the absolute essential stuff in mobiles. I’d keep an eye on the Nano because the things Apple learns to be the absolute necessities to future miniaturized products are bound to inform the way their other products develop too.

  • nthnm

    I like the overall design of the new nano but I still think the 4th and 5th gen models were the nicest. I miss my 1st gen nano in black more than any other gadget I no longer have.

  • Joshua Clare

    I miss my 1st gen nano in black more than any other gadget I no longer have.

    Me too, but mainly because if I hadn’t sold it I would have got a free 6th Gen as a replacement when they were handing them out last year because of the battery issue.

  • Flyphoenix

    I love my iPods nanos I had the 2nd gen and 4th gen. My 4th gen still worked perfectly but it got stolen. I like the 7th gen iPod but I feel like I don’t need two touch screen gadgets looking forward to getting a iPod nano 5th gen.

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