As expected, Apple has launched a new model version of the iPod nano, with CEO Steve Jobs describing it as "the thinnest iPod we've ever made".

The new iPod nano 4G - which is available in 8 colours - is also taller than the previous model, allowing for widescreen playback when the media player is turned on its side. Apple has built the accelerometer used in its iPhone into the new iPod nano to detect which way the device is being held, and switch the orientation of the on-screen image accordingly.

"It combines the best of both worlds: the portrait ratio from the original iPod nano, and the same super high res display from the recent one," said Jobs at the product launch in San Francisco.

Thinner iPod touch & new iPhone software launched

The iPod nano is made out of curved aluminium with a curved glass display, it share design features with Apple's MacBook Air with a thinner tapered edge.

Another new feature is a built-in voice recorder which is activated when users connect a microphone-enabled earphone to the iPod nano. Apple has also launched a new style of earphone for the iPod range, featuring the shuttle button and microphone found on the iPhone earbuds.

The iPod nano 4G is available now in the UK, with the 8GB model costing £109, and the 16GB version costing £149.

iPod nano 4g