|Apple is at work on a new iPod nano design that will abandon the square, watch-like shape used in the past couple of years, according to Macotakara. The Japanese site quotes a "reliable Chinese source," who indicates that the new Nano will switch to rectangular format similar to the iPhone and iPod touch. This includes the addition of a Home button; the claims are based on the source's access to a leaked case including a hole in the right spot for a Home button.
The player is further rumored to be getting access to a "dedicated new iTunes service." A fall iTunes update is expected to introduce new features, and drop support for Ping, Apple's failed social network. The hardware may, lastly, lose its current back clip, which reflects the fitness focus Apple has taken with both the Nano and the iPod shuffle.
If Apple does change the design of the Nano it could create a minor shake-up in the iPod accessory industry and upset some customers. A number of companies have taken to producing watch-style cases for the Nano, none of which would work with a rectangular format. The Nano itself would no longer be useful as a watch; at the same time, many people have complained about the current model's touchscreen interface, which is harder to use than iOS despite cosmetic similarities between the two.