The smarter iPod nano
As August comes to an end, many Apple enthusiasts are eagerly awaiting the iPhone event that will supposedly take place on September 12. For those of you who’ve been living under a rock, rumors suggest that on September 12, Apple will unveil its next iPhone along with its latest mobile operating system, iOS 6. It’s also been rumored that Apple will introduce a smaller, 7.85-inch iPad on the same day. But as John Gruber of Daring Fireball explained, that wouldn’t make much sense. It’s much more likely, he said, that Apple will spread the announcements across separate events.
So if Apple is going to do two events, one in September and another one in October, will the second event be all about the iPad? We’ve heard whispers that Apple will probably refresh its iPod line, and if that’s the case, I suspect the company will use the October event to trot out its new music players. But I think Apple’s got something more than a revamped nano in store (sources have said a next-gen iPod touch is also on the way). I think the iPad maker plans to take the nano in a new, smarter direction.
In the years since the nano took on a square-like form factor, we’ve seen a flurry of watch accessories that allow users to wear an iPod nano around their wrist like, well, a watch. Considering how successful those accessories have been, not to mention the incredible traction of Pebble, I’ll bet Apple plans to reimagine the nano as a watch.
The problem is, aside from playing music, telling time, and giving me basic workout information, the nano can’t do much. It could definitely stand to be a lot smarter, and I think the device’s successor will be. If, for instance, Apple squeezed in Bluetooth 4.0 along with a slightly larger battery, the nano could become much more than just a one-dimensional clip-on music player.
It could connect to users’ iPhones, displaying iMessages and letting them start and stop music in hands-free fashion with Siri. It could take cues from Nike’s FuelBand and record users’ movements beyond what it does today. Heck, it could even feature Apple’s new mobile wallet, Passbook.
I can’t help but think Apple plans to bake those features, and possibly more, into the next nano. If it does, I could see the nano becoming an indispensable accessory for iPhone users, much like the Smart Cover is for the iPad crowd. The only obstacle, to my mind, would be the device’s price. Apple would have to price it at $99 or less, in my opinion, and if it did that, the new nano would sell like crazy.
Of course, this is all speculation, and only time will tell what Apple really has in the pipeline. But if Apple refreshes the iPod nano this fall as expected, I wouldn’t put it past the company to introduce something that’s much smarter and ties in with the iPhone. Something like a smartwatch.
Image credit: Lunatik