How to tell Ipod Nanos from fakes.

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Important Update: Since the posting of this guide Apple has released a new iPod Nano which has video. It is however very different from the ones shown in this guide so you can easily tell the difference. Information about the new Nano can be found here  
The information in this guide is still useful for telling apart real iPod nanos and fakes as long as they are 1st or 2nd generation (see picture of real iPod below for example)

Ipod Nanos are one of the most wanted electronic items on eBay at the moment. Unfortunately eBay is flooded with fakes, this guide will tell you how to tell fakes from real Ipods, help you avoid having to have your searches flooded with fakes and help you decide whether you want an Ipod or a Fake.

The Difference

Here I will list the main differences between Ipods and Fakes.


The most obvious difference between an Ipod and a fake is the click wheel below the screen. On real Ipods the click wheel has four symbols on it. These symbols are at the top, bottom, left and right with nothing in the middle. The symbols are; MENU at the top, Rewind on the left, Fast Forward on the right and Play/Pause at the bottom.

Fakes have the same basic design though the button layout is very different. Fakes have an M at the top, Rewind on the left, Fast Forward on the right, VOL at the bottom and Play/Pause in the middle.


REAL IPOD                                  FAKE IPOD                        FAKE IPOD


Some fakes have a different screen like the white one shown above; others however have done a good job and got the screen right. The differences are that Ipods have a rectangular screen that looks as if the rectangle is on its side fakes also have a rectangular screen though the screen may look as if it's on its end and/or have writing beneath it (see above).


Although sellers rarely take pictures of the back it contains important information that only a real Ipod would have. This includes the Apple logo and company name, storage capacity and information regarding trademarks.

On fake Ipods the back is normally just white or black depending on its colour.

Unfortunatly Apple's website doesn't have a picture of the back, they do however have an interactive photo gallery which lets you view the Ipod from any angle. I would give you the link though eBay doesn't allow non eBay links. Here are some basic instructions. Go to, click on store up the top of the screen, click on Ipod Nano and scroll down to the bottom where there should be a link. Note: Requires QuickTime.


Fake Ipod Nanos have the same capabilities as the real thing and then some. If you see an auction for an Ipod with the following capabilities then it is fake; MP4 Video, FM Radio, Voice Recorder and FM Recorder.

Ipods have a 1.5-inch display capable of viewing pictures. They obviously play music in several different formats and have extras such as games.

How To Avoid Fake Auctions

If you have recently searched for Ipod Nanos you will have had your searches flooded with fake Ipods here is how to avoid this.

Simply type Ipod Nano into search, hit the hyphen key (-) and without a space type in MP4. Search. This will exclude all listings with MP4 in their titles which most fakes do. Note: this works with all searches.

Having trouble try this link. Ipod Nano -MP4

What's Right For You

If you don't know whether to get a fake or a real Ipod then this may help you out.

Fakes are almost always cheaper and have more multimedia functions including video.

Ipods have superior MP3 playback and are known to be top of the line.

In my opinion a Jack Of All Trades Is A Master Of None. In other words I believe that fake Ipods have so many features because they are just added in to make it sound better though they may actually be very bad and hard to use.

Many sellers do not claim their products to be real Ipods though some say the are Ipod Nanos or newer versions of Ipod Nanos which is why I wrote this guide.

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