UPDATE [Wednesday, December 21, 2011 at 7:35am ET]: Apple has made some backend changes fixing the App Store bug. Users of iThings running iOS 3.1.3 are apparently able to download App Store apps without a hiccup. Let us know if the bug has been fixed for you down in the comments.

As you know, Apple launched a replacement program last month addressing the overheating issues stemming from defective batteries from one of their suppliers. The company told the public to stop using the original first-generation iPod nano and have it replaced free of charge. Surprisingly, it appears Apple is issuing the current-generation iPod nano replacement units, because they have apparently run out of refurbished first-gen models, according to MacRumors.

Several users have reported over the past few days that they have received emails acknowledging shipment of their replacement devices and checking the serial numbers of the replacement devices on Apple’s support site has shown them to be sixth-generation models.

We were able to confirm that some people have already received their sixth-gen iPod nano replacement units. Robert, from comments:

FedEx just dropped off my new Nano and it looks like the latest Gen. I forgot about this and to my surprise I have a new nano. So merry Christmas to me from Apple.

Dave, too:

Just checked my new replacement serial number too — it also shows a 6th gen ipod. Sweet!!!

In the meantime, some iOS 3.1.3 users are reporting issues downloading apps from the App Store.

Per Apple’s Discussion forums (here and here), an unknown portion of iPod touch and iPhone users still on iOS 3.1.3 are experiencing issues downloading apps from the App Store – in addition to broken layout for app pages (as seen in the image below). The problem appears to stem from iTunes backend changes on Apple’s part, so it could be resolved at any time with a server-side update rather than a firmware update. Meanwhile, users can continue using the apps that they have already installed and update them using desktop iTunes. The problem is limited only to legacy devices, because iOS 3.1.3 is the final software update released for the original iPhone and the first-generation iPod touch.

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