With the introduction of the 7th generation Nano (gdgt.com/apple/ipod/nano/7th-gen/) Apple has done away with its small, square predecessor, which had (literally) kickstarted a third-party market of watch bands designed for people who wanted to wear their Nano as a watch. Here is one example:
I think they really messed up with this thing. I'm not sure who they're selling it to. The 6th gen was/is a fantastic shape for working out or doing work around the house. This one abandons the fitness people as much as the watch people, IMO. With the 7th gen, you'll have to have an armband to attach it to yourself. The built in clip on the 6th gen made it very easy to wear around.
But yes, they've instantly said F-you to the small but growing population that wanted one of these in watch form. This one will not make for a very good watch.
My hope here, is that Apple comes out with a different device or a straight up smart watch. What better product for Apple to have than an iPhone "companion" that already has a *massive* install base-- particularly from a financial standpoint. $100 iPhone companion watch? Count me in.
I think the 7th gen is SO fugly. Nilay Patel had an interesting take on it at The Verge positing that the nano has a history as Apple's design playground device and the 7th gen is essentially regressive and devoid of imagination. I agree that it feels like a step backward —or at best, laterally— but I'm not yet willing to go as far as he does that it's indicative that they're out of ideas or scared to innovate.
Anyhow, I always thought the 6th gen was charming, and in fear that they'll soon be gone for good, I stocked up on a few at the refurb store ($99!).
I hope Apple or a competitor exploits the 'smartwatch' market demand these things revealed, though my guess is they have other targets. Then again, we can always hope the 8th gen nano will be a return to the 6th with more of what we clamored for including bluetooth, gps, Apple-designed watchbands, and who knows what else.
Didn't they hire a high-profile guy from MIT Media Lab whose thesis was interactive clothing, or do I misremember him being snatched away by Google? Who's ID bunker is he hunkered down in?