This resurrected ‘iPod’ from Nothing isn’t real… but I honestly wish it was

You may think that a Nothing ‘Npod’ music player sounds like an absurd idea, but I’m here to say that it makes absolute sense…

There are some undeniable similarities between the Apple of Steve Jobs, and the Nothing of Carl Pei. Both founders started other successful businesses (Jobs also founded Pixar and Pei founded OnePlus) before finding their true calling in tech. In his 2022 presentation, Carl Pei mentioned that tech had stopped being fun, rather subtly casting aspersions at Apple, which used to make exciting products once upon a time when Steve Jobs was in his ‘pirates of Silicon Valley’ era. Apple’s breakout product may have been the Mac, but it truly became a cultural phenomenon with a music product – the iPod. Similarly, Nothing made its global debut with a music product too – the Nothing Ear (1). One could argue that the Nothing Phone (1) almost perfectly matches the iPhone 12’s size and shape, so it’s safe to say there’s quite the overlap… and this fan-made Nothing Npod (1) takes things a step further.

Designers: Shreyansh Onial & Aditya Pandharpure

Designed by Shreyansh Onial and Aditya Pandharpure, the Nothing Npod (1) simultaneously pays homage to Apple’s iconic iPod Shuffle and Nothing’s transparent design aesthetic and glyph interface. In ways, it’s also a reflection of how Nothing is capable of revolutionizing the music industry through the power of technology and nostalgia.

The Npod (1) is a pretty literal fan-made reinterpretation of the iPod Shuffle, with the signature circular control panel on the front and a matching circular glyph interface on the back. A wireless charging coil on the back also hints at the iPod… er, Npod (1) charging wirelessly, although there’s definitely a USB-C charger on the bottom, judging by the ‘!’ glyph on the back which can also be found on the Phone (1) and Phone (2).

The presence of a glyph interface on the Npod (1) seems like an odd choice, but it isn’t inconceivable that the interface responds and reacts to the music being played. One arc in the circle could act as a volume indicator while the other could serve as a seek bar, showing the progress of the audio file (the Phone (2) had such a feature too).

The Npod (1) is designed to be a tad bit smaller than the Ear (2) case, reflecting the iPod Shuffle’s comparative size too. The Npod and TWS earbuds go together rather well if you ask me, although the music player is clearly missing a pocket clip that would allow you to attach it to your clothes for easy control and usage.

For now, however, the Npod (1) is just a fan-made concept (I imagine Apple’s legal team would sue Nothing into oblivion if they made something this, well, similar). Ultimately though, it’s a fun design exercise that also serves as a pretty strong reminder of the overlap between the current ethos of Nothing under Carl Pei, and of Apple in the turn of the millennium under Steve Jobs.