In mid-November, TUAW reported on Apple's program to replace certain first-generation iPod nanos with refurbished models. The replacement program was designed to resolve issues with iPod nanos manufactured between September of 2005 and January of 2006 that could cause overheating and pose a safety risk. Now some nano owners are reporting on a MacRumors forum that Apple is replacing their 2 GB first-generation iPod nanos with 8 GB sixth-generation models.
News of the first shipment of these newer units came from MacRumors reader CoolCatGee, who posted an image of an email that had been sent by Apple announcing the shipping of the device. The reader checked the serial number of the new device and found that it was a 6th generation iPod nano.
So why is Apple sending out newer devices to replace old equipment? It appears that there was unprecedented response to the "recall," and there may have been only a small number of refurbished units to send out. Many of the forum respondents also noted that the replacement is taking 5 to 6 weeks, meaning that Apple might be providing the newer units as part of its usual policy of over-delivering on promises.
MacRumors is now backing up its forum posters with a confirmed report that Apple is indeed shipping sixth-generation iPod nanos. The devices come with an expired warranty, and forum fans are unsure if they're refurbished 6G iPod nanos or completely new devices.