Flashback 2005: Apple Introduces the iPod Nano

Eleven years ago this week, Apple introduced the ultra sleek iPod Nano. The Nano was a replacement for the hugely popular iPod Mini, which drove the number of iPods sold from 2 million to 10 million by the end of 2004, just 12 months after it was introduced.

At Apple’s annual media event, Steve Jobs pointed to the watch pocket in his jeans and asked "ever wonder what this pocket is for?" before pulling out the quarter-inch-thick Nano. “Well, now we know,” he continued, “because this is the new iPod Nano. It is breathtaking. You won’t believe it until you hold it in your hands. A thousand songs. An amazing color display. A click wheel. It is one of the most amazing products Apple has ever, ever created.”

At 1.6 x 3.5 x 0.27 inches and weighing in at 1.5 ounces, the Nano was one-fifth the size of the original iPod, introduced four years earlier, and one third the size of its predecessor, the Mini. The svelte form factor was possible because flash memory was used instead of a hard drive. Broadening the appeal of the player, Apple added storage for up to 25,000 photos and a stopwatch. Battery life was 14 hours and two versions of the player were offered in Apple’s signature white or (for the first time) black: a 4 GB model for $249 and a 2 GB model for $199.

The Nano was an instant success, selling a million units in just over two weeks, and went on to become Apple’s best-selling music player ever.