Today in Apple history: iPod nano gets colorful aluminum upgrade

Today in Apple history: iPod nano gets colorful aluminum upgrade


iPod nano
The second-gen iPod nano was totally metal.
Photo: Dongyi Liu/Flickr CC

Sept 25: Today in Apple history: Second-generation iPod nano gets colorful aluminum upgrade September 25, 2006: Apple ships its second-generation iPod nano, offering a fancy redesign of the pocket-size original.

Among the new iPod nano’s improvements are a slimmer, anodized aluminum casing; a brighter screen; longer battery life, and a wide range of colors. And, oh yes, it also includes gapless music playback for the first time!

iPod lineup continues to expand

In 2006, no Apple product burned brighter than the iPod. With no iPhone on the horizon, the iPod drove Apple to astonishing new heights in popularity and value. Plus, the small audio device played a pivotal role in the transition to digital music.

Introduced in September 2005, the iPod nano replaced the iPod mini with what seemed at the time like an unbelievably small device. For the second-gen model, Apple upgraded the case from plastic to scratch-resistant aluminum.

While the original model came only in black or white, the sequel boasted a choice of six colors. These included black, green, blue, silver and pink. A limited-edition iPod nano (Product) Red version came later with support from U2 lead singer, Bono.

Second-gen iPod nano specs

In addition, the second-gen iPod nano bumped up the amount of storage to include an 8GB option, alongside the original 2GB and 4GB models. In keeping with Apple’s environmental aspirations (which were admittedly less pronounced under Steve Jobs than they would become under current CEO Tim Cook), Apple claimed the packaging was “32% lighter with 52% less volume than the first generation.”

Along with increased storage options came a battery life upgrade from 14 to 24 hours, a new search option in the user interface, the aforementioned gapless playback, and a display that shined an impressive 40% brighter than its predecessor.

In some senses, 2006 marked peak iPod. The following year, by the time of the third-gen nano’s release, Apple had cannibalized the product line with the very first iPhone. While the iPod continued to receive upgrades and variants, it lost its place as Apple’s primary focus.

Apple discontinued the iPod nano on July 27, 2017, citing lack of interest. And on May 10, 2022, Apple finally pulled the plug on the iPod product line.

Did you own an iPod nano? Leave your comments below.



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