Maybe a circular Apple iPod isn’t such a crazy idea after all…

Apple has had its fair share of product successes, but none have been as impactful as the iPod. The iPod truly made Apple a consumer tech company, taking it out of its little box of being a niche computer manufacturer. It practically changed the music industry overnight, ostensibly killing the CD and the Walkman while simultaneously pushing a generation towards digital downloads. It also singlehandedly forced the entire music industry to pivot from selling entire albums to selling singles. As the iPod rapidly became a household device, it also spawned an entire industry of tech-accessory manufacturers who made speakers and docks specifically for the iPod… but most importantly, it allowed tech and fashion to collide in a way that nobody had ever experienced before… fundamentally changing how Apple would make products in the future. Andrea Copellino’s iPod Nano concept captures that very spirit of the iPod in a fresh new design that breaks the mold all over again.

Nostalgia can be an incredibly powerful emotion (case in point, the 2019 Moto RAZR), although Copellino’s redesign doesn’t capitalize on the old iPod’s iconic design. Instead, it challenges it with a fresh relook at what a music player from Apple could look like – and I’ll be honest. I like it for a bunch of reasons.

Apple iPod Nano Circular Concept by Andrea Copellino

As Apple gradually began phasing out the iPod, it increasingly began looking like the iPhone (in fact the iPod Touch was almost indistinguishable from earlier models of the iPhone). Copellino sidesteps this problem by giving the iPod a complete refresh and making it circular. The new iPod Nano paves its own path forward with a fresh new design that’s instantly distinguishable from the iPhone. It sports a circular UI that Copellino designed from scratch too, borrowing elements from the Apple Watch. It also comes with a circular display that looks just marginally smaller than the one used on the HomePod Mini.

Apple iPod Nano Circular Concept by Andrea Copellino

What I really enjoy about the new iPod Nano is that it looks different but feels the same. Classic iPods came with round jog-wheels that established a circular interaction, and the new iPod Nano’s circular display just carries that forward. Its puck-like design is comfortable to hold and comes with a clip on the back that makes it easy to secure your music player around your pocket.

Apple iPod Nano Circular Concept by Andrea Copellino

Apple iPod Nano Circular Concept by Andrea Copellino

The iPod Nano concept has a bunch in common with the iPhone (although its drastic design change really sets it apart)- it runs Apple Music, Podcasts, Siri, among a bunch of other apps. It’s entirely portless too, working seamlessly with the AirPods, Pro, and Max, and charges wirelessly. Ingeniously enough, the iPod Nano is exactly the same width as Apple’s MagSafe charger, allowing it to line up perfectly while charging. Magnets on the back of the iPod let it snap to the charger perfectly, ensuring alignment every time.

Apple iPod Nano Circular Concept by Andrea Copellino

Apple iPod Nano Circular Concept by Andrea Copellino

Is Apple going to relaunch the iPod? Probably not, although Copellino’s earlier concept looks a lot like something Apple WOULD launch. This circular iPod Nano is more of a design exercise or a fan-concept, although there’s definitely a dramatic appeal to it. I could totally imagine an alternate universe with colorful billboards of human silhouettes holding circular touch-sensitive iPod Nanos, and people lining up outside Apple stores to buy them!

Designer: Andrea Copellino

Apple iPod Nano Circular Concept by Andrea Copellino

The post Maybe a circular Apple iPod isn’t such a crazy idea after all… first appeared on Yanko Design.

Is Apple relaunching the iPod on its 20th Anniversary this year? Here’s why it could be a smart idea…

Four words – Lossless Audio, and Apple Arcade. These four words could just as easily the new iPod’s design brief. The Twitter rumor-mill’s working on overdrive after a few sources claimed that Apple could announce a new iPod this fall. A few designers even went so far as to create renders based on hearsay and leaks, and I’m absolutely here for it. A new iPod could be a pretty nifty product for a variety of reasons. Here are my thoughts.

Only last week Apple announced that lossless audio was coming to Apple Music. With a new iPod, it’ll be like Apple going into the music-streaming war guns-a-blazing. Spotify’s slowly but surely dominated this space, and the new iPod could almost be Apple signaling that it’s taking the music domain pretty seriously. The iPod could drum up major interest the same way the Moto RAZR did – nostalgia is a powerful force. Moreover, the hardware would be no different from the iPhone 5 or the iPhone SE, given that the renders look pretty much exactly like those devices.

Secondly, the new iPod has the ability to become Apple’s gateway device for a variety of iOS features (and probably even MagSafe, who knows). Kids could use it for listening to music, but could also potentially use the iMessage service on it. The iPod could leverage the power of Apple Arcade too, becoming a very affordable device that parents would buy for their kids in a heartbeat, tying them into the Apple ecosystem at an early age. The iPod has always been an impulse purchase (as opposed to the iPhone)… reissuing the gadget on its 20th anniversary absolutely makes a world of sense!!

Image Credits: Steve Moser, AppleLe257, and Apple_Tomorrow

Share your memories and reviews of the last iPod Classic

This week marks an anniversary of sorts for the 6th-generation “classic” iPod. Not its release date (September 5th, 2007), but the date it was officially discontinued: September 9th, 2014. That day Apple stopped producing non-touchscreen mobile music...

This iPod-inspired AirPods case is a music (and podcast) lover’s absolute dream!

I personally believe the audio industry owes a massive debt of gratitude to Apple. The company has singlehandedly caused ripples in the industry ever since the iPod. Whether it’s the tiny music playback device, or the birth of iTunes and the death of music piracy, or the removal of the headphone jack and the ushering of the wireless age of AirPods (or even the fact that Apple literally invented the podcast), it’s undeniable that a major chunk of the past 20 years have been pretty much governed by what Apple has said or done.

Elago’s AW6 cases for the AirPods help cover that journey from beginning to end. Designed to mimic the iPod Classic’s jog-dial, the silicone sleeve for the AirPods are a nice bookmark in time, while also acting as a protective cover for your AirPods case. Compatible with 1st and 2nd gen AirPods, the sleeve comes with a slot for the charger as well as a carabiner clip so you can hang that piece of audio-nostalgia from your belt-loop or your backpack… and that tiny hole right above the menu for the charging light just sweetens the deal!

Designer: Elago

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Apple introduces real-time lyrics to Music

With the release of iOS13, Apple's added a fun new feature to Music: time-synced lyrics. The updated lyrics experience presents real-time synced song words that animate along with the music as they're being sung, rapped or spoken, no matter how mumbl...

Apple Ancestry! This Apple Watch stand makes it look like an iPod Classic!

Designed as a pretty nifty throwback to Apple’s golden era of the iPod, Elago’s W6 stand is a perfect tribute to one of Apple’s most ground-breaking products ever! The W6 is a part of Elago’s rather remarkable throwback series of stands for the watch, ranging from stands that resemble the Macintosh Computer to the gloriously colorful iMac G3, to even the Nintendo GameBoy.

The W6 takes on a more recent ancestor of the Watch, the iPod Classic, which made its debut in 2001, nearly twenty years ago! A modern reinterpretation of the old plastic-and-metal device, the W6 stand is tiny, and comes made from silicon, allowing it to flex as you slide your Watch in, and preventing it from accidental bumps or scratches with its shock-absorbing exterior. The W6 is universally compatible with all Apple Watches and even lets you slide the Watch charger inside too, so your Watch can charge as it docks in its new-old home! A perfect Wayback Wednesday product, I’d say!

Designer: Elago Design

Click Here to Buy Now

Click Here to Buy Now

Revisiting nearly 3 decades of Jonathan Ive’s design evolution at Apple… in products.

With Sir Jonathan Ive’s exit from Apple just days ago, it’s finally the end of an era that Steve Jobs envisioned back in the 90s. Ive left his design agency Tangerine to formally Apple in 1992, recruited by Jon Rubinstein at the time. It wasn’t until 1996, when Steve Jobs made a return to Apple (an almost-bankrupt company at the time), when Jonathan Ive’s career really took off. Along with Ive’s eye for design, and Jobs’ attention to need, detail, and usability, the two formed one of the most successful creative alliances in recent history, taking the company to a valuation of $665 billion in 2011, around the time of Jobs’ demise, and finally to the trillion dollar mark in 2018.

Ive’s journey at Apple can be distinctly broken down into these phases, that roughly fall into the decades too. We’re here to look at the work of Jobs through the lens of time, as he went from product to product and strength to strength with each passing decade. The video above provides a very rare look into Ive’s and Apple’s elusive design process, while the products below aim to codify and categorize Ive’s 27-year-long design journey with one of the most innovative companies on earth. Here’s a look at Jonathan Ive’s 27 years at Apple, in products.

1992-96 Jonathan Ive leaves Tangerine for Apple. Steve Jobs hasn’t made his comeback yet.


There honestly isn’t much to look at here. This was pre-Jobs comeback, when Apple was facing financial difficulties. Ive made his way from Tangerine to Apple, only to realize that most of the design team was being let go of. Rumor has it, he almost tried to quit around the same time, but was pep-talked into staying by Jon Rubinstein. Ive, under Apple, designed a few not-so-successful products at the time… like the Newton MessagePad, shown above. However, his experimentation with transparency (top right) led to a few breakthroughs later when Steve made a comeback.

1997-2011 Apple’s renaissance period under Jobs and Ive. Apple Design follows Dieter Rams.


Design flourished when Steve Jobs made a comeback in 1996. The iMac G3 and the iBook explored curves, and the use of transparency and translucency. Jobs was adamant that the insides of the computers be beautiful enough to showcase to the world, rather than make more white boxes. Ive’s design efforts went into making ‘computers sexy again’.


Ive’s obsession with transparency evolved further, while products that were previously curved, started taking on a more slick appearance. Shown above are the Apple Cinema Display, the iMac G4, and a rare non-Apple product, Harman Kardon’s Soundsticks that were designed by Ive!


Nothing put Apple more on the map than the iPod. It revolutionized everything, and truly made Jobs stand out as a visionary, and cemented Ive’s role in the company. The iPod also owed a big debt of gratitude to Dieter Rams, who’s design language at Braun truly began influencing Ive’s work. The circular jogdial, the no-nonsense design, the philosophy of “Form Following Function”, and the liberal use of white, all were owed to Dieter Rams. While naysayers saw this as Apple ‘not being original enough’, iPods flew off the shelves, and Apple finally became a household name.

As iPods grew popular, Ive strived hard to make them sleeker too. As a result, the Nano and the Shuffle were born. With an iPod for everyone, these came in a variety of formats, stored as many as 2000 songs, and now came in color! Another subtle innovation was that Ive discovered the material that would change the consumer tech industry forever… aluminium.

Aluminum allowed Ive to truly explore Apple’s new aesthetic of beautiful, premium, and sleek products. Aluminum was abundant, could be machined to precision, and Ive even devised a way of utilizing spare aluminum parts from the Mac Pro to make the MacBook bodies (discussed in Gary Hustwit’s Objectified). Ive pushed the limits to how beautifully sleek products could be made, and in 2008, Steve Jobs walked out on stage with a Manila envelope, carrying the world’s thinnest laptop within it… the iconic 19.4mm MacBook Air!


One more thing… arguably the three most important words in Apple’s history. The iPhone is considered to be Jobs and Ive’s magnum opus. So much is owed to the birth of the iPhone. Industries, companies, technologies, materials, the iPhone created them all. The first iPhone, introduced in 2007 was the first true smartphone. It came with a touchscreen you could use with your fingers, and boasted of Apple’s iOS and the birth of the app marketplace. Further iterations only grew better. The iPhone 4 came with a glass front and back, but a slick aluminum frame that made it one of the thinnest phones of its time. It was the perfect size (some still believe so even today) and had Siri, Apple’s voice AI. In 2012 came the iPhone 5, a reiteration of its successful predecessor, with a standard-setting aluminum unibody, a revolutionary 16:9 display, and the world’s first fingerprint sensor on a phone. The iPhone 5 was considered to be the last iPhone co-created by Jobs and Ive.


The iPad debuted in 2010, just a year before Jobs’ demise. Ive designed it to be the sleekest tablet on the market, following the footsteps of the iPhone and the MacBook Air, although the idea for the iPad came to Jobs much before the iPhone. Jony developed a device so iconic that it remained the only strong contender in the tablet market with practically no competition for roughly seven years.

2012-19 Apple finding its post-Jobs identity, & becoming a trillion dollar company.


The 2013 Mac Pro came at a time of uncertainty. Two years since the death of Jobs, Apple was looking for its next great product. The iPhone and the iPad proved to show how great Jobs was at envisioning new products. Apple hoped a redesigned Mac Pro would show people that Apple was still capable of innovation. Jonathan Ive’s redesign didn’t receive much praise, and was often referred to as the trashcan Mac, for its dustbin-shaped appearance. For the people that bought it too, the Mac Pro had quite a few problems, ranging from its heat issues, to the fact that it wasn’t easy to upgrade… a pretty necessary feature considering how much the 2013 Mac Pro cost.


The following year was one of redemption. Apple’s recent recruitments to the design team included designer Mark Newson and CEO of Yves Saunt Laurent, Paul Deneve. These two stalwarts aided Ive in building consumer electronics that were comparable to fashion items, with their sheer sense of style (and even a price tag to match). The Apple Watch was born, kicking off a wearables market. It featured a small screen, a touch-sensitive UI and a rotating crown, all encased in a remarkable aluminum body. The watch came with wireless charging, and featured a built-in heart-rate sensor… a feature that would soon define the Watch’s use-case. As a consumer-friendly medical wearable.

Among other noteworthy design achievements, Apple acquired Beats by Dre., a company that considered Robert Brunner’s Ammunition as their design partners (Brunner was an ex-Apple design lead). Alongside that, Ive’s team even designed the iPhone 6, a smartphone with an incredibly slick design that received mixed reviews, while also being one of the most sold smartphones in the world. Ive’s obsession with slim devices finally led to what became the Bendgate. The iPhone 6 was so thin, it would bend if kept in your back pocket. Apple eventually fixed the problem in the iPhone 6S with a stronger chassis and a harder aluminum alloy. The 6S also gave birth to the era of Rose Gold, a color that Apple debuted in 2015 which became a standard in almost all subsequent iPhones and even in the new MacBook Air.


Later in 2016, Apple announced the iPhone 7, which infamously ditched the headphone jack. The absence of a 3.5mm jack on the phone meant the release of the Airpods, Apple’s incredibly small truly wireless intelligent earbuds. Perhaps not the most consumer-friendly decision, the Airpods were a runaway business success. The Airpods were convenient, incredibly well-paired with the iPhone, and came with touch-sensitive surfaces that let you control playback as well as the iPhone’s core features without taking your phone out. The Airpods were sleek, well-built, and came with their own charging case that you could carry around with you. 2016 was also the year Apple killed ports on the MacBook, leaving just a USB Type-C port and a headphone jack (a strange decision there) on the side. The 2016 MacBook also ended the tradition of having glowing Apple logos on MacBooks.


2017 saw the release of the HomePod, Apple’s foray into the smart-speaker market. Ive pretty much revived the cylindrical design (of the Mac Pro) to create a powerful speaker capable of throwing out high-fidelity sound in all directions with equal intensity. The smart-speaker featured a touch-sensitive upper surface, and could respond to “Hey Siri”. Available in white and black, the HomePod came perhaps too late, with Amazon beating Apple to the smart-speaker market by three whole years.


Towards the end of 2017, Apple announced the AirPower, a tray capable of charging all of Apple’s wireless devices… simultaneously. The announcement was perhaps a little premature, considering two large things. A. The Airpods didn’t charge wirelessly, and B. The technology wasn’t perfected yet. Ive’s design showed how easy it was to lay your products on the AirPower mat and have them charge, but Apple’s engineering team couldn’t get it to work without heating up tremendously. The AirPower was finally shelved in 2019.

2017 also marked a full decade since the launch of Apple’s greatest product ever, the iPhone. Alongside the iPhone 8 (which was due at the time), Ive designed the anniversary iPhone, titled the iPhone X. With a stellar dual-lens camera capable of clicking portrait images with computational blurring, the iPhone X actually sold more than the 8, even with its $999 price tag… and its notch! The notch became a standard detail for almost all other smartphones to follow, as Ive’s vision for a truly bezel-less smartphone became more and more possible. It also meant saying goodbye to the good old TouchID and hello to Apple’s new FaceID, its revolutionary facial recognition system. The new iPhone was also a departure of sorts from Ive’s love for aluminium, since the metal wouldn’t support wireless charging.


The 2018 iPad Pro was the tablet every creative professional needed. With an incredibly powerful processor (as powerful as the Xbox One), a great camera, a redesigned stylus (that charged wirelessly), and virtually no bezels, the iPad Pro became a standard for the creative industry. It also came with a Type-C port, showing users exactly how versatile the tablet was designed to be, as it could be connected to pretty much any other device, and not be inhibited by Apple’s lightning charger.


As Apple’s hardware sales slowed down (nobody wanted to buy a new iPhone every year), the company finally made a pivot to services. The Apple Card was one of them. Machined out of titanium, the card was an exercise in sheer minimalism, thanks to Ive and the design team. it came with a machined Apple logo, and an etched name on the card… that’s it!


Ive’s last product at Apple, the Mac Pro sent quite a few mixed messages. At the time of his death, Jobs made it clear that Ive’s work was not to be interfered with, and he was answerable to no one. The Mac Pro 2019 was proof of Ive’s free reign. It came with a dual-machined airway system that gave the Mac Pro an appearance of a glorified cheese-grater, with an incredibly hefty price-tag. Apple’s trillion-dollar valuation, and Ive’s ability to design without any constraints resulted in one of the most talked about designs of the year so far… that’s until Ive finally put in his resignation along with Marc Newson to form LoveFrom, an independent design outfit that considered Apple as one of its top clients. Let’s see what the 2019 Apple October event has in store for us!