September 1 has become a circled date on every Mac nerd's calendar following Apple's announcement of a music-related media event to be held in San Francisco. One of the big announcements, according to analysts, could be an overhauled iPod Nano, sans click wheel.
The click wheel has been one of the most iconic pieces of industrial engineering in technology since its release, but may be relegated to science museums sooner than later. Kaufman analyst Shawn Wu claims via sources that a "significant redesign" of the iPod Nano may also be part of Apple's media event announcements.
Wu goes on to say that he is not sure whether the click-wheel-free version of the iPod Nano will actually appear at this year's media event, or even at all, but says, "This would be a big departure from the design it has had since 2005 when it replaced the iPod Mini. From our take, a radical refresh may make sense to jump-start what was once its top-selling iPod."
By axing the click wheel in favor of what will most likely be a small touch screen (think iPod Touch, but Nano size), Apple's iPod lineup will feature only one device with the old-fashioned click wheel design that helped define Apple's resurgence throughout the 2000s.
It is also unclear whether an iPod Nano without a click wheel would be running iOS 4 or a customized version of it, capable of running App Store apps or, perhaps, newly developed apps. It's also unclear whether it will be able to remain competitively priced as an entry-level digital music player.
Much of the media coverage of the September 1 event has been focused on a new iPod Touch model and the rumored revamp of Apple TV (or perhaps, iTV).
Would a touch-screen iPod Nano be enticing to you? Let us know in the comments!