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Could a New Square iPod Be on the Way?

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Ever since Apple (s aapl) announced the date for their upcoming media event a few short days ago, rumors have been circulating regarding what the event could have in store. One rumor seems to have gained a little traction: a redesigned, square iPod.

Apple holds a music-based media event every September, which usually sees Steve Jobs reveal a new line of iPods. This year is expected to be no different, though some also suggest an updated Apple TV, and others predict that we’ll see an update to iTunes. The new square iPod form factor has some physical evidence to back it up, though.

iLounge first spotted images which Chinese iPod case-maker X-Doria claim to be designed for an upcoming fourth-generation iPod touch, and a redesigned iPod nano or iPod shuffle.

The purported iPod touch case clearly has a design to fit a form factor similar to that of the iPhone 4, but it’s the unusual square case also pictured that has sparked debate. The case is of similar proportions to an Apple-branded 1.7-inch touchscreen that surfaced earlier this year. But what iPod could this screen and the square case house — could it be a smaller nano or a bigger shuffle?

Back in 2007, Apple released the third-generation iPod Nano, which boasted a similar square design. Yet after just one year, Apple changed the form factor back to the narrower, rectangular shape. The fifth generation, which saw the introduction of video recording, kept to the same design formula. So would Apple really revert?

The iPod shuffle, which has never had a screen, saw its most radical redesign in 2009. The miniature player lost most of its buttons, with the player controls moved to the headphones. This was not overly popular, due to it requiring users to use special headphones. Maybe Apple is hoping to make up for what many saw as a design blunder.

Personally, I think changes to the iPod nano are indeed more likely. This belief is mainly due to the possible aforementioned touchscreen being utilized, and the fact that the pictured case has a hole on the rear — a space for the camera perhaps?

Whatever changes are in store, we will find out on Sept. 1. What changes would you like to see to the iPod line? Let us know in the comments.

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11 Responses to “Could a New Square iPod Be on the Way?”

  1. I think due to the fact that more and more people are using phones with mp3 capabilities, the need for a standalone device for music and video is diminishing. Because that demand is languishing, Apple may be looking to offer less form factor options… i.e. combining the best of the Shuffle and the Nano with touch and iOS into one device that feeds the needs of someone shopping for a “small mp3 player.” I would definitely buy a product like that, as I hate the shuffle because of no screen, and can’t justify the purchase of a nano, as my iPhone can do everything it can and more and it’s always on me and reasonably light.

  2. I really, really hope Apple ain’t gonna mess with the nano. I own a 4G and it’s great. The 5G seems to be a good successor as well. The next step shouldn’t be a complete redesign. I’d rather want Apple to keep the click wheel and the list-based UI. They might add new features, like (crazy guess!) WiFi capabilities (for iTunes purchases, YouTube etc.) and a better camera (like the iPhone 4!) with photo capabilities, but ditching the shape we know and love would be a disaster. And if they really release this square iPod, it is, most likely, not going to replace any current iPod. It’s all wild speculation, of course. What I wanted to say is, that these things somehow seem more believable.

    And why are you so sure these supposed iPod touch cases aren’t for the iPhone 4?

  3. The Eck

    “The new square iPod form factor has some physical evidence…”

    It’s not a form factor, it’s the new size, dammit, size. Form factor means something else entirely. Get with the latest meme and stop referring to size, dimensions, design as stupid form factors. Sheesh.

  4. I’m hoping for another square iPod of some sort. I loved the 3rd gen nano but haven’t been able to get my hands on one. Maybe it worked out because something similar with a touch screen would be even better!

  5. if it is the nano i could almost see apple grabbing a trick from the HTC EVO and throwing a kickstand on the back for prop-up video viewing. i have the evo, and the slot in the back of its case is very similar. just a thought.