Rumours have emerged about a new completely design for Apple's smallest iPod member, the Nano, a move that could reaffirm Apple's intention to keep the classic iPod audio players alive and kicking despite growing internal competition from the iPod Touch and the iPhone.
Apple Insider quotes Shaw Wu of Analyst firm Kaufman Brothers who says that one potential surprise from Apple could be a redesigned iPod Nano with a smaller form factor and no click wheel; given the fact that the iPod Nano is already tiny, anything smaller may prove be challenging to users as well.
Chinese website SJ.91 has published pictures from a case manufacturer named X-Doria which apparently represent cases for for the fourth generation iPod Touch and the sixth generation iPod nano; the smaller version is moulded to fit a square model with an open strip behind possibly for a belt clip.
While the design doesn't say much about the product itself, the iPod Nano may well lose the click wheel and get a smaller screen with the same pixel count.
Other alternatives would be to put the click wheel at the back of the Nano, swap the wheel for a more traditional button based interface or get a touch screen instead.