Fans of the Fat Nano Unite

On Tuesday, in an aside regarding Rick Tetzeli’s description of the original iPod click wheel as “clunky”, I wrote:

Also, a personal niggle: I don’t think there was anything “clunky” about the original iPod scroll wheel. In fact, I liked the original iPod’s mechanical scroll wheel, which physically spun, better than the capacitive touch scroll wheel that replaced it. From a Mac user’s perspective, the original iPod was an amazing device. If you want something from iPod history to cite as an example of questionable Apple design, I suggest either the 2007 “Fat” Nano or the 2009 iPod Shuffle that literally had no playback buttons at all.

I heard from a bunch of readers — including good friends — who objected to my disparagement of the Fat Nano. I didn’t mean to imply no one loved it, though. Only that it was widely criticized on aesthetic grounds, and wound up lasting for just one year. Someone must have liked it at Apple too, otherwise it wouldn’t have shipped. I even heard from at least one reader who liked the no-button Shuffle. The iPod line was so good, and so well-designed, that it’s hard to say any of them exhibited “bad design”.

Even the much-derided 1998 hockey puck mouse that debuted with the original iMac has fans (including my wife).

Thursday, 4 January 2018