Which version of USB do iPod Nanos have?

Apple's tech spec says it works with a Mac having 2 or 3, but USB is backward compatible so that doesn't help...

2 Answers 2


All iPhones and iPods with the Lightning connector use USB 2.0. From Wikipedia:

The Lightning connector … provides an interface to USB 2.0 (for data and charging)

Also, if you look the USB end of a Lightning cable, it doesn't have the additional pins for USB 3.0.

There is actually no point to having USB 3.0, since the flash memory in iPods and iPhones is not fast enough to benefit from its speed.

  • I remembered being VERY disappointed when seeing this. But of course realize we don't really need that speed anyway.
    – Shane Hsu
    Jan 28, 2013 at 15:49

The current (7th) generation of iPod Nano (I'm assuming your referring to the 7th) utilizes a Lightning port. This port in turn utilizes a Lightening to USB 2.0 cable, that in turn plugs into the appropriate USB 3.0 (or earlier) port on your computer. In other words, it will plug into a USB 3.0 port even though it's only a USB 2.0 cable.

Here is a link to the actual specification

Per the Apple specification:

"Mac computer with USB 2.0 or 3.0 port, OS X v10.6.8 or later, and iTunes 10.7 or later"

  • 1
    This is incorrect. You need a USB 2.0 or 3.0 port, The cable itself is USB 2.0. See Kevin Chen's answer for more detail.
    – Dillon
    Jan 27, 2013 at 23:51
  • @Dillon I clarified the answer to be clearer as to what I was trying to indicate.
    – Mort
    Jan 28, 2013 at 15:40
  • I found it interesting that on a PC it says only USB 2.0 port. I'm sure the lightning connector will work with USB 3.0 when the time comes that the iOS device will speak that protocol (and assuming the lawyers allow connecting a USB 3.0 type signal over a proprietary connection) but that day when USB 3.0 ships on any iOS device is still in the future.
    – bmike
    Jan 28, 2013 at 15:49

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