The iPod Nano is a portable media player designed by Apple Inc. that allows users to listen to music, play games, play videos, and view pictures. Despite its name, the iPod Nano is not the smallest portable digital audio player; that distinction goes to the iPod Shuffle. The fourth-generation iPod Nano utilizes flash memory, holds either 8 or 16 gigabytes (GB) of memory, has a two-inch (diagonal) liquid crystal display with light-emitting diode (LED) backlight, and a click wheel that allows the user to scroll though menu options and music.
In the push for new or “high” technology, electronics are becoming smaller and faster through the use of nanotechnology. The popularity of the iPod Nano is an example of the association made by consumers and producers between “Nano,” as a symbol of being “small,” and nanotechnology as being “innovative.”
The prefix “Nano” is thus used to communicate the relatively small size of the iPod Nano, while also situating the product within the new and exciting world of nanotechnology. The iPod Nano measures 1.5 inches wide, 3.6 inches tall, and .24 inches thick, making it smaller than the iPod classic. Like many electronic devices that are developed today, the iPod Nano employs nanotechnology in its chips and circuitry, to increase battery life and memory size, and to provide a flexible and resistant surface. References to the first models of the iPod Nano claim that it does not employ nanotechnology and Nan particles, rather the name iPod Nano was used to capture excitement around its novel size. The use of nanotechnology in the current generation of the iPod Nano is a reflection of the research and development of electronic devices in recent years, rather than a reference to its name. However, the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (www.nanotechproject.org) lists it as a consumer project that uses nanotechnology, and Forbes magazine lists the iPod Nano in its “Top Nano Products of 2005,” and concludes that the use of “Nano” in the name is “both nanotechnology and marketing hype,” the latter because the iPod Nano uses memory chips manufactured with precision below 100 nanometers (Greenberg, 1994, pp. 89).
Introduced in 2005, Apple took a risk by replacing their popular iPod Mini with the iPod Nano. The risk successfully resulted in over 1 million iPod Nano sold in the first 17 days of sales. Since 2005, Apple has released four models, or generations, of the iPod Nano. The first iPod Nano offered two color choices, in 2GB and 4GB memory options. Like the iPod Classic, it also supported the viewing of photographs. The second-generation iPod Nano was released in September 2006, featuring a scratch-resistant anodized aluminum casing, five color choices, an extended battery life, and the option for increased storage size (2, 4, and 8 GB options). On October 13, 2006, Apple introduced the iPod Nano (PRODUCT) RED Special Edition, in collaboration with RED creators Bono and Bobby Shriver. This special edition of the second-generation Nano came ...