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Amid the talk of the next-generation iPhone and a smaller, "iPad Mini" device, it’s easily forgotten that all of Apple’s iOS devices evolved from the iPod – a long-standing series of music and media players which started off as a basic, yet elegant figure in the cauldron of digital players on the market.

The iPod itself branched off in many different directions, and as well as the "classic" design offering large amounts of storage, there was also the Shuffle – an easily pocketable player with a small amount of flash storage. Finding a happy median was the iPod nano, which has always been at the forefront of slick, compact design while still offering reasonable amounts of space ranging from 4GB all the way up to 16GB.

The nano, in its current state, is very similar to previous versions of the iPod Shuffle, and its form factor has prompted many to suggest Apple will eventually release an "iWatch" like device. With the Cupertino company having cornered so many different markets, all sorts of suggestions are regularly thrown around, and the iOS / iPod-based watch is something that simply won’t go away. The iPod nano is meant to be worn as a watch as-is, and although there are endless wrist-strap designs and materials available, consumers are still looking for more.

A publication intended members of Shell Germany’s loyalty rewards program has told members they’d be met with a delay in choosing the "old" (current) 8GB iPod nano, since an "upcoming re-introduction" of the miniature marvel will be arriving sometime next month. It’s the first we’re hearing with regards to the nano, and if it does turn out to be true, will be the first refresh of the device for two years. Yes, two years.

September 1, 2010 saw the arrival of the current sixth-gen iPod nano, and it will be interesting to see what Apple has changed. Obviously, as an out-and-out tech fan, I would love to see a heavier iOS influence and a James Bond-ified watch, but my better judgment inclines me to think that will not be the case, at least not yet.

iPod nano stack

That said, the rumor mill has suggested it may offer connectivity to an adapted iTunes service, while Bluetooth 4.0 is also a topic of discussion.

What do you see happening with the next iPod nano?

(via iPodnn)

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