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New iPod Nano to bring back slim design?

Is it retro if it's just two years old? Apple may be heading back to the long, lean Nano design after a year with the short, fat Nano on store shelves.

One possible design for Apple's fourth-generation iPod nano, on the right, as compared to a Microsoft Zune music player.

The next generation of the iPod Nano might be getting a slimmed-down makeover, according to a report.

iLounge believes it has hit on the design for the fourth-generation iPod Nano, reporting that Apple plans to bring back the thinner iPod Nano design of years past but in a taller package that's a nod to the screen size of today's "fat" iPod Nano. Video would play in landscape mode, borrowing from the landscape viewing mode of the iPhone and iPod Touch and delivering a 1.5-to-1 aspect ratio.

The current iPod Nano, redesigned for video last year. CNET

The fat iPod Nano was a bit controversial when it was first introduced, but people seem to have gotten used to the idea. Last year Apple redesigned its most popular iPod in line with its increased focus on video in the iTunes Store, as the screen size on the early thin iPod Nanos was way too small to comfortably watch video.

The new design also reminded iLounge of Microsoft's Zune flash player, although to be fair, that Zune player seemed to remind people of the original iPod Nano design when it was released. In any event, the Zune didn't seem to make much headway in the past year against the fat iPod Nano design.

Apple has held a September iPod event the last several years, and we're pretty sure they'll have another one on tap this year, with a revamped iPod Touch likely to accompany a new iPod Nano. In support of that suspicion, AppleInsider is reporting that resellers have been told to expect shortages of iPods and Macbooks in the coming weeks.