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Customer Review

447 of 489 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nano is part of Apple's new plan ..., September 9, 2010
This review is from: Apple iPod nano 8 GB Graphite (6th Generation) Discontinued Model (In Plain White Box) (Electronics)
With the announcement of the new Apple TV, and now the release of the drastically revised iPod Nano, it would appear that Apple is in the process of re-evaluating its product line and re-tooling the entries to match what it perceives to be the needs of the consumer.

With the Apple TV, they have correctly, I believe, simplified the complexity of the original offering, removed any notion of storage, which tended to confuse the average user, and prepared it for an app driven iOS future. They claimed these changes resulted from a close look at the usage of the current Apple TV, and that they made the changes they felt were needed to more closely match what was desired.

The Nano, I believe, follows the same path.

I have an iPhone and and the new Nano. I also have the previous generation Nano. I tend to agree with Apple: I never the older Nano once to watch a video. I never used the contacts, the calendar, nor did I play a game on the Nano. I bought it for jogging, I only used it for jogging.

All those things removed from the new Nano I currently do on my iPhone. These removed features were worthless to me and will not be missed.

But the Nano did do exactly what I wanted it to do: become smaller, and be easier to use. Though I am getting used to a virtual pause button vs. a physical button on the older model, I find the new Nano to sound a little better and is less intrusive during running.

Apple has apparently moved away from the "same feature set, different design" view and has moved to "what's best for the intended useage?" model. They now have a mature line of music players, each with a clear and intended purpose.

The Classic is for those who wish to carry their entire music collection with them.

The Touch is the top of the line universal player and application machine. Not intended for exercise, but rather for those who don't have an iPhone but want its best features.

The iPhone, a Touch with a phone built in. Same positioning as the Touch, but replaces your phone if you are in the market for a phone.

The Shuffle: the low cost entry point into the Apple ecosystem. Probably the only way Apple could offer any product under $100. With its small storage, and lack of screen, it appears to be essentially a gateway device for some to enter the Apple world.

And finally the Nano. Not the universal player anymore. Not the smaller iPod Classic, like its predecessors were. The Nano seems to be targeted to the highly mobile exercise crowd. The Nano is really only good for playing music, which, along with the Shuffle, make it the only "pure" iPod left. If you want a music player, and you want more than 2GB or storage, but you don't need apps or video or games because all you want to do is listen to music, than the Nano seems ideal. It fails when we try to make it something is clearly not intended to be. And for those who grieve at the loss of the features, I am sure Apple's answer is that "you really want a Touch." They're right, too. The days of the Nano needing to be a stripped down Touch or Classic vanished the day the Touch was released.

So, though not perfect, I think the design and intended use of the Nano fits in nicely into the Apple music player offerings.
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 11, 2010 11:57:11 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 21, 2010 7:50:26 PM PDT
Hey Bob, nice review. I think you're largely right in your replication of Apple's reasoning here... but I also think Apple is probably going to end up being wrong in their calculation that the Nano audience is going to be happy being told to "just go buy a Touch" if they miss certain features that the new Nano (aka 'Super Shuffle') lacks. Or if they just plain do not dig the very small screen size.

And I say this as someone who *likes* the new Nano/Super Shuffle... a lot. It's very good for its intended use. But not everyone wants a pure 'gym' shuffle, and all those who want something else don't automatically want a Touch, either. Those ppl are now pretty unhappy.

Worse, this move leaves a significant hole in Apple's line-up, which no doubt Microsoft, Sansa, and the rest will attempt to exploit. Again, some ppl *do* want a relatively full-featured player that's significantly smaller than a Touch, and which can pull double-duty as being both a gym-player and a cool 'media' player to have anywhere else as well.

Sure, one could easily argue that such a player is 'jack of all trades, master of none', and there's some truth to that... but that doesn't stop a significant segment of the market from still wanting one- especially if they've owned Nanos in the past. And those ppl will vote with their wallets.

Consider too that if you're one of the ppl who never watched video on their Nanos because you thought even the 5th gen screen was too small... how much more screen real estate could Apple have gained by keeping the overall size similar (maybe a bit wider and shorter), ditching the clickwheel, and making the entire front a touchscreen?

Say, a Nano that was very thin, and about the size of a credit card (i.e. wallet-storable), and nearly all screen?

Even if it couldn't be quite THAT awesome, realistically quite a LOT more screen could've been had, and I think that's what 5th gen Nano fans were hoping for/anticipating. Boy, were they surprised... hence some of the angry comments and reviews. =\

I myself am a hardcore *Apple* fan, not a hardcore *Nano* fan, but I can understand where the Nano fans are coming from.

The annoying thing is, we WILL probably see such a 'true' Nano touchscreen player before too long... from one of Apple's competitors. =[

Which highlights the real head-scratcher in all this for me- that this really didn't have to be an 'either/or' choice from Apple. They could've made Super Shuffles AND MultiTouch 'true' Nanos, and both would've sold very well... while leaving zero daylight for the competition.

Thus, the only rationale I can think of for diverting from such a strong strategy/iPod line-up and leaving such a hole is that Apple wanted to push (shove?) the Nano crowd towards the Touch, both for the higher ASP (average selling price) and perhaps more importantly because this makes more people into 'apps' buyers... which in turn attracts developers and helps push the entire iPhone/Touch platform.

This ends up being a 'snowball effect'... more apps buyers = more developers = more apps = more reason to buy an iPhone/iPod Touch = more iPhone/iTouch buyers = more apps buyers = more devs = more apps = more reason to buy an iPhone/iPod Touch..., etc. etc. It's a pretty awesome feedback loop of *cha-ching!* for Apple. But that's no comfort to former Nano fans, who loved the prior form factor and feature set.

Thus, I predict there's going to be quite a run on 5th gen Nanos. And after those are gone, the Nano crowd is likely up for grabs.

Apple will likely convert many into Touch users, but they may lose more than they banked on as well.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 18, 2010 9:03:53 AM PDT
Peter Hunt says:
Great review, particularly the discussion about the product placement in the iPod/iPhone lineup. I think you're right on the money.

I think Apple are smart to pare down the nano to being "targeted to the highly mobile exercise crowd", as you describe it. The HD video and Retina screens on the new iPhone and iPod Touch makes the fifth gen nano video look very substandard in comparison - and Apple doesn't do substandard.

Unfortunately, I think the replacement of the click wheel with a touchscreen on the new nano makes it less effective as the kind of player they've designed it to be. Having to stop running, cycling or working out to look at the screen and skip to the next song, back up in a podcast, and so on, is a bit cumbersome.

Posted on Sep 22, 2010 10:50:19 AM PDT
lillyjake says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 27, 2010 9:21:14 PM PDT
Dizzel says:
I couldn't agree with this review more. Personally I didn't use the video playback of the 5th gen because the screen was just too small. I also didn't use the video camera because it took less than decent video. I have a pocket HD camera for video. The games weren't appealing either. The bottom line is that I wanted a small mp3 player that I could workout with or travel with. Obviously the smaller the Nano the better for me. I don't understand why people compare this to a shuffle when you can pick an album or artist and play the songs you want to hear, unlike a shuffle.

My only complaint with Apple is that they probably have stripped many of the popular items from the sixth generation only so they can add them to forthcoming generations. If the 6th generation had all of the old specs and apps what else could they add to the 7th gen. to make you interested? I believe all of those items will return and old nano users will be happy after double and triple dipping.

Posted on Nov 20, 2010 2:11:51 PM PST
Tim Kaiser says:
I agree. Love the new direction of the Nano line. Who needs games, movies, a camera, contacts, calendars, etc. I just want a solid music player. If I want all that other stuff then I'll buy a touch or use my cell phone or my digital camera, etc.

When people say it's a "shuffle with a screen" I think that's exactly what Apple intended.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2010 1:41:53 PM PST
I travel a lot, and on long flights I usually just want to listen to music and nothing more. I love my Shuffle but it lacks storage; I love my Touch but its battery life is less than stellar. The new Nano is the perfect solution for me, and since it has a clip I won't be in danger of dropping it! Nothing worse than a device that slips out of your hands and disappears under the seat (and slides all the way to the back of the plane on take-off!)

For travel, for walking and working out, and for commuting on the train, a "shuffle with a screen" is just exactly what I needed.

Posted on Jan 26, 2011 9:39:04 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 26, 2011 9:55:54 PM PST
silver bird says:
I totally agree with your review especially your comments about Apple's different product uses.
I have an 80GB Classic with stores all my music and used exclusively in the living room docking station. My iPhone I use for apps, camera, internet, mail etc. My iPad for ebooks, movies, games, internet etc. etc. I also use it in place of my laptop while on vacation.
However, in my case... my 3rd and 4th generation Nanos are used only for audiobooks (and maybe some music) while commuting, doing chores, walking the dog and exercising. I don't need any other functions on my Mp3 payer, although I really love the idea of the pedometer. I have never used any of my iPods for video, games, contacts, calendar or anything else. Even WAY before my iPhone and iPad - I didn't bother with games or whatever on my iPod. For that reason, I didn't go for the 5th generation, but even if I had had one - I wouldn't have used it for camera functions.
This small Nano Clip with touch functions is just ideal for me. No more wires getting tangled, no more hopping iPods. Gorgeous, secure and above all SMALL. Just wonderful.
So basically, even though some people don't seem to appreciate how appropriate, useful and wonderful it is, many others have been waiting for YEARS for this. I know I have! I'm getting the red one :). Oh... just one thing... I would love if this Nano had Bluetooth (with wrap around behind the head earphones).
Thanks for the nice review.
P.S. I don't agree with the people calling it a Shuffle... a Shuffle has no screen and can't play audiobooks properly and book or album art can't be enjoyed. A shuffle is ONLY for songs played randomly AFAIK.
I think the Shuffle still has it's place on it's own merits. For eg. the young skateboarding crowd, and for the many other extreme sports, where a solid, small music player - WITHOUT a glass screen is preferable.

Posted on Mar 2, 2012 8:19:17 AM PST
Sandra says:
does this i-pod have cross fade feature where songs fade into the next???????
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