updated 01:45 pm EDT, Thu August 16, 2012
Members told they will get the new model instead
A publication for members of Shell Germany's loyalty rewards program has posted a notice warning members of a "delay" if they choose the "old" current-model 8GB iPod nano -- because of an "upcoming re-introduction" of the player, said to be happening sometime next month. If true, it would be the first confirmation of a long-rumored iPod line refresh, happening in time for the holiday shopping season. The Nano received its last redesign nearly two years ago.
The sixth-generation iPod nano was introduced on September 1, 2010 and has has become popular both as a running accessory and as a watch. Despite rumors of a return to the more rectangular shape, no evidence (such as parts) has emerged to suggest that Apple will actually change the square design currently used and popular with accessory makers.
The rumors of a redesign that floated around last month also included the idea of the device having a connection to a revamped, streamlined iTunes service. Any new version would also likely revamp the user interface, which looks iOS-like but has a far smaller touchscreen. One option that is likely being considered is the addition of the new Bluetooth 4.0 option, which is much lower-power than previous iterations and would allow for Bluetooth headsets and headphones to use the Nano, greatly enhancing its usability as a watch and media player.
A change of design would also upset the burgeoning watch-case mini-industry that has sprung up around the Nano's square shape and included "clock face" graphics so the it can be used as a time-keeping device. The current model already includes a sensor that incorporates the Nike+iPod functionality for fitness-oriented users.