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How to Tell What iPod Nano Model You Have

Updated on September 18, 2012
Max Dalton profile image

Max holds a B.S. in mass communications from SIU, an M.A. in communications from U of I, and is pursuing an MBA from Webster University.


Knowing what iPod nano model you have makes it possible for you to get the right type of hardware, such as screen covers or cases, software or other items. Because a lot of iPod nano models look similar, it's easy to think you have one model when you really have another. Identifying your iPod nano model only takes a few minutes.

The original iPod nano is available with either 1, 2 or 4 GB of storage capacity.
The original iPod nano is available with either 1, 2 or 4 GB of storage capacity. | Source

Original iPod Nano and Second-Generation iPod Nano

The original iPod nano and the second-generation iPod nano are physically very similar. Both devices feature click-wheel functionality on the lower half of the front of the device and the screen on the top half. Additionally, the 30-pin connector and headphone inputs are both located along the bottom edge of the device. However, there are some physical differences. The original iPod nano is only available in black and white, and is slightly wider than the second-generation device. The second-generation iPod nano is available in a wide array of colors, such as pink, gray and blue. Also, the edges of the original iPod nano are flat, while the left and right edges of the second-generation iPod nano are rounded. Further, the first-generation iPod nano is only available with either 1, 2 or 4GB of storage space and the second-generation device is only available with either 4 or 8 GB of storage space. You storage capacity of each device can be found on the back of your iPod nano.

The third-generation iPod nano is on the left and the second-generation iPod nano is on the right.
The third-generation iPod nano is on the left and the second-generation iPod nano is on the right. | Source

Third-Generation iPod Nano

The third-generation iPod nano is more squaty in appearance than its predecessors. This iteration of the device is 2 3/4 inches tall and slightly over two inches wide, with the display measuring two inches from the upper-left to the lower-right corner. Additionally, the third-generation of the device is the first to play video and also has the Hold button located along the lower edge of the device. Similar to the second-generation iPod nano, the third-generation iPod nano comes in a variety of colors, including red, turquoise, black and others. Also, you can identify whether you have a third-generation iPod or not based on the serial number located on the back of your device. If you do have a third-generation version of the device, your serial number will include one of the following three letter combos: YOR, YXX, YXR, YXT, YXV or YOP.

Fourth-Generation iPod Nano

The fourth-generation iPod nano is taller than the previous nano models, checking in at a little over 3 1/2 inches tall with a display that measures two inches from the upper-left corner to the lower-right corner vertically and not horizontally, the way the third-generation iPod nano is. Additionally, you can differentiate the fourth-generation iPod nano from other models by looking at either the top or bottom of the device. When looking at the device from this angle, you'll notice these sides have a very distinct oval shape.

Fifth-Generation iPod Nano

The fifth-generation iPod nano has the tallest screen of all the nano models, measuring in at a little over 3 1/2 inches tall with a vertical display that measures a little over two inches. Similar to the fourth-generation iPod model, when you look at the top or bottom of the device, it will have an oval shape to it. However, when you look at the back of the device, you'll notice a camera and a microphone on the back of the device to the left of where the model number, serial number and other information is located. The fifth-generation iPod nano is also only available in either an 8 or 16 GB model.

Sixth-Generation iPod Nano

The sixth-generation iPod nano is physically the smallest of the iPod nano models, with both the device and the display measuring in around roughly 1 1/2 inches. The device is available in a variety of colors, including green, red and black, and is available in either 8 or 16 GB models.


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    • Andrew Wheeler profile image

      Andrew Wheeler 

      8 years ago from St. George, Utah

      It sucks when you buy a case for something and find out it was the wrong one for your model. Hopfully this will help some people that don't know what they are doing and will prevent from buying cases and other accessories that will not be used!


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