Apple has had its fair share of product successes, but none have had the same level of impact as the iPod has had on society. The iPod transformed Apple from a niche computer manufacturer into a consumer technology company, allowing it to break out of its small niche. It essentially transformed the music industry overnight, ostensibly putting an end to the CD and the Walkman while simultaneously influencing a generation to embrace digital downloads and streaming services. The single also had the additional effect of forcing the entire music industry to shift its focus away from selling entire albums and toward selling singles. As the iPod quickly became a household device, it also spawned an entire industry of tech-accessory manufacturers who created speakers and docks that were specifically designed for use with the iPod… But, perhaps most importantly, it allowed technology and fashion to collide in a way that had never been seen before, resulting in a fundamental shift in how Apple would manufacture products in the future. That very spirit of the iPod is captured in Andrea Copellino‘s concept for an iPod Nano, which is a completely new design that breaks the mold once more.

Even though Copellino’s redesign does not capitalize on the old iPod’s iconic design (as evidenced by the 2019 Moto RAZR), nostalgia can be an extremely powerful emotion. In place of that, it presents a fresh perspective on what an Apple music player could look like – and I’ll be honest, it’s quite appealing. It appeals to me for a variety of reasons.

As Apple began to phase out the iPod, it became more and more similar to the iPhone in appearance and functionality (in fact the iPod Touch was almost indistinguishable from earlier models of the iPhone). Copellino gets around this problem by completely re-designing the iPod and turning it into a circular device. The new iPod Nano forges its own path forward with a strikingly different design that sets it apart from its predecessor, the iPhone. It also has a circular user interface that Copellino created from the ground up, drawing inspiration from the Apple Watch. It also has a circular display that appears to be only slightly smaller than the one found on the HomePod Mini, which is a nice touch.

Despite the fact that it has a lot in common with the iPhone (despite its drastic design change), the iPod Nano concept is very different from the iPhone. It is capable of running Apple Music, Podcasts, Siri, and a variety of other applications. It’s also completely cordless, allowing it to work seamlessly with the AirPods, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max, and it charges wirelessly. The iPod Nano is precisely the same width as Apple’s MagSafe charger, which allows it to line up perfectly with the charger while it is charging, which is quite ingenious. Magnets on the back of the iPod allow it to snap into place on the charger perfectly every time, ensuring perfect alignment each and every time.

Is Apple planning to reintroduce the iPod? Most likely not, despite the fact that Copellino’s earlier concept looks eerily similar to something Apple WOULD launch. Although it has a dramatic appeal, this circular iPod Nano is more of a design exercise or a fan concept than anything else. People lining up outside Apple stores to purchase circular touch-sensitive iPod Nanos in a colorful alternate universe is something I could totally see happening in my head.

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