Got a tip for us? Share it...

Archive of iPod Rumors

Apple last week refreshed its iPod touch lineup with a new 16GB model that offers a camera and color options to replace the stripped-down model it introduced last year. After debuting in the US, the new iPod touch today became available internationally, landing in the UK, Germany, Italy and other countries worldwide.

ipod-touch-germany
As revealed by iFixit, the new 16GB iPod touch is a lower capacity model of Apple's existing fifth generation iPod touch lineup that was introduced in 2012. The model features a 4-inch display, Apple's A5 processor, a 5-megapixel iSight camera and color choices that include yellow, blue, pink and more. The new 16GB version lowers the entry-level price point to $199, down from $229 for the now-discontinued silver-only model.

Apple traditionally refreshed its iPod lineup during its annual September press event, which often focused on iTunes and music. Apple de-emphasized music in 2013, opting to unveil the iPhone 5s. The Cupertino company is expected to continue this trend in 2014 with the possible unveiling of the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone 6. The future of the iPod line remains unclear as sales of the units continue to slide quarterly.
The teardown experts at iFixit have promptly torn down Apple's refreshed 16 GB iPod touch, a day after the device was announced and went on sale. The $199 iPod touch is Apple's new entry-level touch model, adopting the camera and color options of the existing fifth-generation models.

ifixit-16gb-ipod-touch
The teardown analysis of the 2014 16 GB model found no significant changes from Apple's current 32 GB and 64 GB iPod touch models, which were released in 2012. This "refreshed" device includes the same components as the existing 32 GB iPod touch variant, but with half the storage.
At least, that’s the way this camera-laden, 16 GB iPod Touch came to be. We delved inside Apple’s “refreshed” device and found the same components we’d seen in Touches of yesteryear, but with 16 GB of on-board flash memory. So it’s not really that this 16 GB variant gains a camera — instead, it loses half of its 32 GB of storage.
Apple has on occasion taken the opportunity of minor product updates to test out new components, but there is little evidence of that occurring with the new iPod touch. Several of the chips have slightly different part numbers than seen on the original fifth-generation iPod touch teardown, but it is not uncommon for such components to be tweaked at times over a product's lifetime. Overall, the layout of the logic board components on the new iPod touch appears identical to that of the original fifth-generation model, providing no evidence of any significant internal changes.

Besides hardware components, the 16 GB iPod touch also shares the same poor repairability of its higher capacity counterparts. As noted in iFixit's original teardown of the fifth-generation iPod touch, the device received a 3 out of 10 repairability score because of its non-removable battery and linked components that must be replaced in groups.

Apple's fifth-generation iPod touch is recognized for its ultrathin form factor and its bright color options, but the hardware is more than a generation behind, with an A5 processor and 5-megapixel iSight camera that put the device's internals on par with the iPhone 4s.

Even with the relatively dated hardware, however, it is unclear when we should expect a more substantial upgrade for the line. Apple traditionally uses its September event to unveil new iPod hardware, but with iPod sales in decline and this recent refresh and price drop to rekindle interest in the device, it is unlikely that Apple will make further changes to its iPod touch lineup in the immediate future.
Following our report from earlier today, Apple has launched its new entry-level 16 GB fifth-generation iPod touch, while also cutting the price on the current 32/64 GB iPod touch, offering them for $249 and $299, respectively. The new iPod touch is available in six different colors with a rear camera and a lower price tag of $199.

ipod-touch-16gb
The 16 GB model now offers the same features as the larger capacity models, although the Loop wrist strap is sold separately on the 16 GB model and included with 32 and 64 GB models.

The fifth-generation iPod touch originally debuted in October of 2012 with a $299 price tag, but Apple expanded the lineup with a lower-cost, silver-only 16GB model that shipped without a rear camera and lower price point of $229. This new $199 16GB model replaces the $229 model in Apple's iPod touch lineup.

Update: Apple has issued a press release announcing the update.
Apple appears to be planning on launching a new 16GB fifth-generation iPod touch, according to a source that spoke to MacRumors. The new iPod touch would be a 16GB version of the current 32/64GB iPod touch, coming in six different colors with a rear camera and a lower price tag of $199. Separately, iGen.fr reports that they have heard that a new iPod touch will indeed be launching on Tuesday of next week. Their source did not directly corroborate the pricing and specs, but did say it was a single model only, and not a revision of the entire iPod touch line.

Apple initially launched the 32/64GB fifth-generation iPod touch in October of 2012 with a $299 price tag, but later added a lower-cost silver-only 16GB iPod touch that stripped key features like a rear camera to lower the cost to $229.

ipod_touch_5_colors
As time passes and technology advances, component prices often drop, which may be why Apple is planning to bring feature parity to its iPod touch lineup nearly two years after the original launch of the fifth-generation iPod touch.

Apple's fifth-generation iPod touch has been lauded for its ultrathin design and its bright colors, but spec wise, the product is inferior to the current iPhone 5s, with only an A5 chip and a 5-megapixel iSight camera, which may be another reason Apple is launching a lower-cost version of the device.

It is unclear what will happen to the existing 16GB iPod touch, but Apple could choose to lower the price of that device even further or discontinue it in favor of the new version with a rear camera.
Building on the success of its wireless Stratus controller, SteelSeries today introduced the Stratus XL, a full-sized gaming controller for the iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. Similar to its pocket-sized counterpart, the Stratus XL connects to your iOS device wirelessly through Bluetooth instead of the Lightning port.

stratus-xl-main
The Stratus XL features a larger, console controller-inspired design that provides room for two analog joysticks, a pressure-sensitive directional pad (D-pad), 4 pressure-sensitive action buttons and 4 shoulder buttons that include two trigger buttons.
"We have been working for well over a year now on perfecting the wireless controller experience for iOS devices. We have been incredibly impressed by the way the SteelSeries Stratus has been received by consumers so far and we are looking forward to introducing the Stratus XL to the iOS gaming community – who have been asking for a full-sized controller option," said Tino Soelberg, SteelSeries CTO. "The Stratus XL was designed to meet their demands, delivered with the premium features and top-to-bottom quality expected from SteelSeries."
The Stratus XL will support the same iOS 7 games as the original Stratus including Dead Trigger 2, Asphalt 8: Airborne, Bastion and more. The large format controller will debut later this year at a price that is yet to be announced. Customers can visit the Stratus XL product page and sign up to be notified when the product availability date and pricing are confirmed.
A research note (via Barrons) from Christopher Caso, an analyst with Susquehanna Financial Group, reiterates previous analyst reporting about the iWatch, saying Apple is looking to enter production with a pair of screen sizes in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Caso says Apple has production targets of 5-6 million units, but believes the iWatch will "essentially replace the iPod in the consumer portion of AAPL's product lineup" and will see lowered iPod sales as a result of customers choosing the iWatch instead. The note says the iPod is not expected to be updated this year.

Ipodfamily
Apple CEO Tim Cook said earlier this year that the iPod "is a declining business", with sales dropping to under $5 billion in 2013, down from a peak of more than $8 billion in 2008. Apple's iPod lineup has not seen a significant update since Fall 2012, other than a minor color change to match the rest of Apple's portable offerings. The iPod Classic has not been updated in several years.

Apple has worked hard to have products at a variety of price points, from the $49 iPod Shuffle up to the 128GB iPad Air at $799, and then to the various Mac products.
During the company's earnings conference call today, Apple CEO Tim Cook commented on the state of the iPod, noting that the product is a declining category for the company:
The way we look at it, our business is a sell-through point of view less iPod -- all of us have known for some time that iPod is a declining business.
iPod Sales
The iPod was Apple's "halo" product for years, getting new customers to buy Apple products for the first time. Since their peak in 2008, however, iPod sales have seen a fairly steady decline as the iPhone and iPad have captured more of the market that the iPod occupied previously.

Apple's last change to the the iPod line came with the debut of a new Space Gray color option for the iPod touch, iPod nano, and iPod shuffle at its September 2013 iPhone event. However, Apple has not updated the iPod classic in over four years, with that device more likely to be discontinued rather than refreshed.
Continuing our series of roundups summarizing the latest news and rumors about each of Apple's products, today we are publishing five new roundups covering the company's iPod and AirPort lineups. The new roundups include iPod touch, iPod nano, iPod shuffle, iPod classic, and AirPort.

Apple's iPod lineup has not seen much in the way of updates recently, with a September refresh seeing only a slight change to color offerings for the iPod touch, iPod nano, and iPod shuffle with the previous slate color option being replaced with a new space gray option carried over from iPhone 5s. The new color later made its way to the iPad Air and iPad mini as well. Given that Apple typically updates its iPods in the fall each year, new iPods are not expected until late next year.

ipods_airport
The AirPort line of Wi-Fi base stations is currently divided, with the larger AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule models having been updated in June with new designs and support for the latest 802.11ac networking standard. The AirPort Express has not been updated to support 802.11ac and was last updated in June 2012 when it received an Apple TV-like redesign.

As with our previous roundups, the goal of our iPod and AirPort roundups is to simply answer the question of "What are you expecting" for Apple's future products at any given time. That opinion evolves over time as new rumors surface, and our roundups will be updated regularly to reflect the latest rumors.

All of our roundups remain accessible through a dedicated index page showing a time-ordered list based on the last date each roundup was updated, as well as directly through the "Roundups" tab in the navigation bar on all MacRumors pages.
Following a report from last week, U.S. office supply chain Staples over the weekend added Apple's iPad, iPad mini, and iPod lineups to its U.S. online store. The addition comes after the chain began selling Apple accessories in late February.

ipad_now_at_staples
Staples sales associates also received training for Mac sales earlier this year, although those products have yet to be launched by the retailer.

Expanded availability of its products through Staples offers Apple not only additional visibility and convenience for customers shopping for themselves, but also new options for businesses that may already do significant business with the office supply chain, making it easier to include Apple product purchases under existing billing arrangements they already have with Staples.
Alongside its iPhone media event earlier this week, Apple quietly introduced new "space gray" versions of its iPod touch, iPod nano, and iPod shuffle, replacing the black models of those devices with the new color.

Australian Ben Pasternak has now posted a brief video offering a first look at the new color option for the iPod nano. The video shows the front and rear of the device, with the anodized color of the device appearing lighter than the outgoing "Black/Slate" option. The anodized matte finish also helps minimize fingerprints that can be highly visible on more reflective surfaces seen in some of Apple's other products.


Earlier this week, Apple announced that the new iPhone 5s would also be sporting the new Space Gray color, similarly replacing the black/slate color offered on the iPhone 5. All of the iPod models with the new color option are currently available, with the iPhone 5s set to go on sale next Friday, September 20.
Apple today debuted a new "Space Gray" color for the iPhone 5s and has made the color available for the iPod touch, nano, and shuffle as well. In addition to their standard colors, each of these devices can be purchased in Space Gray, which replaces the existing black color.

spacegray
No pricing changes have been implemented, which means the 32GB iPod touch is $299, the 16GB iPod nano is $149, and the 2GB iPod shuffle is $49.

The small color update for existing iPod products indicates that Apple does not plan to further upgrade the devices with a spec bump in the near future. All of the newly-colored devices can be found on Apple’s Online Store and will be available at brick and mortar locations beginning on September 20.
With Apple's new 16 GB iPod touch becoming available today, the teardown experts at iFixit have taken the device apart in an effort to determine how it differs internally from its larger-capacity siblings. The 16 GB model lacks the rear camera and support for Apple's Loop wrist strap, so iFixit wanted to see how those changes affected the layout of the device's components.

ipod_touch_5_16gb_teardown_1
Comparison of original fifth-generation iPod touch (left) and new 16 GB model (right)
(Rear camera would be located at top right corner)

In the area of where the rear camera would be, the new iPod touch has a small void, while some of the flex cables have also been rerouted slightly. In addition, with the microphone no longer needing to be on the back of the device near a camera, it has been moved to the top edge of the device. Otherwise, the layout of components is the same as in other fifth-generation iPod touch models.

The logic board also appears nearly identical to the ones in the larger-capacity iPod touch models, housing all of the same chips with the exception of 16 GB of flash memory rather than 32 GB or 64 GB. The logic board also has a blank spot where the connector for the rear camera cable would have been.
With the exception of the flash memory, it appears that the ICs on the 16 GB model’s logic board are the same as those found on the 32 and 64 GB models:

- Apple A5 dual-core processor, with 4 Gb (512 MB) of Mobile DDR2 RAM.
- Toshiba THGBX2G7B2JLA01 128 Gb (16 GB) NAND flash
- Apple 3381064 dialog power management IC (similar to the Apple 338S1131)
- Murata 339S0171 Wi-Fi module
- Broadcom BCM5976 touchscreen controller
- STMicroelectronics low-power, three-axis gyroscope (AGD3/2229/E5GEK)
- Apple 338S1116 and 338S1077 Cirrus Audio Codec
ipod_touch_5_16gb_teardown_2
Comparison of original fifth-generation iPod touch (left) and new 16 GB model (right)
(Post for wrist strap would be located at bottom right corner)

Finally, at the bottom of the device, the new iPod touch similarly contains a void where the post for attaching the Loop wrist strap would be. Apple has used the same speaker design as in the larger-capacity models, carrying a curved edge that wraps around the Loop post in those models.

Apple's new 16 GB iPod touch is priced at $229, with the addition allowing Apple to discontinue the fourth-generation iPod touch models it had continued selling at $199 (16 GB) and $249 (32 GB) alongside the more expensive fifth-generation models introduced late last year.
Following yesterday's introduction of a new entry-level fifth-generation iPod touch with 16 GB of storage and lacking a rear camera, Apple's retail stores began carrying the device today. Australian Ben Pasternak was one of the first to purchase the new iPod touch, and he has posted a brief video overview of it.

ipod_touch_5_16gb_side
While the body design is nearly identical to the existing fifth-generation iPod touch, merely lacking the rear camera and support for Apple's Loop wrist strap, the video provides a good look at the unique color scheme for the new model, which carries a black front and silver back.


The new 16 GB iPod touch is priced at $229, compared to $299/$399 for the 32/64 GB models. With the introduction of the 16 GB model, Apple has discontinued the fourth-generation iPod touch, which it had continued to offer at $199 (16 GB) and $249 (32 GB) alongside the fifth-generation models since their launch late last year.

Update: iLounge has also posted some photos of the new iPod touch.
Following today's launch of a new stripped-down 16 GB fifth-generation iPod touch, The Loop reports Apple has disclosed that the company has reached a milestone for the device with over 100 million units sold since its launch in 2007.
In addition to launching a new model of its iPod touch on Thursday, Apple told me this morning that it has sold more than 100 million units of the iPod touch since its introduction.

The iPod touch was launched in 2007 and took the design of the iPhone, minus the calling ability. It has since become one of Apple’s most popular products.
ipod_touch_5_colors
Historically, Apple has not disclosed the number of iPod touch units it sells each quarter, generally announcing only that the device accounts for more than half of the company's total iPod sales. The company revealed in documents filed in its lawsuit against Samsung last year that it had sold 46.5 million iPod touch units in the United States alone, but firm numbers have otherwise been difficult to come by.
Apple today made a quiet update to its iPod touch lineup, launching a new 16 GB fifth-generation model without a rear camera for $229. The new iPod touch, which is only available with a black front and silver back, replaces the fourth-generation iPod touch that Apple had continued to offer since the introduction of new models late last year. The new model is available now in Apple's online store and should be available in the company's retail stores starting tomorrow.

ipod_touch_5_16gb
Apple introduced the redesigned fifth-generation iPod touch last September with the same 4-inch display seen on the iPhone 5 and a number of other enhancements. But with the new hardware pushing the entry-level price to $299 for a 32 GB model, Apple decided to continue offering the fourth-generation models at cheaper $199 (16 GB) and $249 (32 GB) price points.

Now, with production on the fifth-generation models having been underway for roughly eight months, Apple has found a way to shave costs through both natural component cost declines and the removal of several features to be able to offer a stripped-down fifth-generation model at pricing close to that previously offered for the fourth-generation models. Beyond the loss of a rear camera, the new entry-level iPod touch also omits Apple's "Loop" wrist strap introduced on the fifth-generation models last year.

Earlier this year, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had predicted that Apple would discontinue the fourth-generation iPod touch in favor of a stripped-down fifth-generation model without a rear camera. Kuo had believed that Apple would introduce an 8 GB version of that device for $199, but Apple apparently decided that 16 GB of storage should be the minimum for the iPod touch lineup.
Apple today began offering refurbished models of the seventh-generation iPod nano in its online store, more than six months after the redesigned device was released. The addition comes roughly a week after Apple began offering refurbished fifth-generation iPod touch models.

ipod_nano_7_refurb
The refurbished seventh-generation iPod nano models come with 16 GB of storage and are priced at $129, a $20 discount from the standard price. All seven standard colors of the iPod nano are currently available, although the special (PRODUCT) RED version is unavailable in the refurbished store.

Apple's refurbished units come equipped with the same one-year warranty that standard products offer and have been thoroughly tested for reliability. The units also come with brand-new batteries and outer shells.
As part of a program to make Walt Disney World more convenient and inviting, the Central Florida theme park has removed turnstiles and issued costumed staff members iPod touches to scan the tickets of visitors as they arrive, reports AppleInsider.

disney-130304-1
The pilot scheme mirrors the decision Apple made to issue staff with iPod touches in card-reader cases in place of turnstiles. In Disney's case, the cases incorporate a scanner to read the barcodes on tickets. As with all Disney staff, ticket-readers are dressed as 'cast members' to enhance the visitor experience, and the removal of imposing turnstiles helps create a much more welcoming environment as visitors approach the park.
Officials hope the changes at the entrance to the Magic Kingdom make it a more welcoming sight: Instead of structures that block people from entering, visitors are simply greeted by a Disney cast member as they walk into the park. Those employees and their iPod touches eliminate the need for old-fashioned checkpoints.
The scheme is currently a trial, and is part of a wider move by Disney toward a more high-tech future. A future phase is expected to introduce a MagicBand wristband that will use RFID to act as a combined hotel key, park pass, Fastpass card, and authorization to charge transactions such as food and beverages to a customer's account.
Mobile video viewing experienced significant gains last year, growing from just 2% of online videos watched in 2011 to 12% in 2012 - and the majority of it is on iOS devices.

60% of all mobile video viewing is done on iOS devices, according to a study by video monetization company Freewheel (via TechCrunch). Android devices accounted for most of the rest, at 32%.

video
The iPhone alone accounted for 30% of all mobile video, the iPad for 24% and the iPod touch for 6%. Apple's lead over Android increased substantially in the final quarter of last year, perhaps suggesting that the increased screen size of the iPhone 5 made video viewing on the phone more appealing, with the iPad screen size and quality giving it obvious appeal.
Both platforms experienced considerable gains in terms of overall video viewing volume, with 30 percent growth in viewing of online videos on non-PC/Mac devices occurring between Q3 2012 and Q4 2012 alone. Apple’s strong lead is dues to its dominance in the tablet market, where FreeWheel says Android has yet to field a competitor that can truly make a dent in its overall share.
Apple's lead is perhaps unsurprising given the the company's early jump on the smartphone market and its more cohesive iOS platform, with many content providers launching iOS apps ahead of Android ones. TechCrunch suggests that there may be a virtuous circle effect, with content providers optimising for iOS devices while the Android experience gets less focus.

Mobile video is naturally expected to be increasingly important going forward, with more and more content providers embracing mobile platforms to encourage more flexible viewing. Just yesterday, HBO introduced increased functionality for its HBO Go app, allowing content to be pushed from Apple's mobile devices to a larger screen via AirPlay.
Earlier this week, TechCrunch shared data from touch-based website developer Onswipe showing that, based on its user base of over 13 million monthly active users, over 21% of iPhone and iPad users had updated to iOS 6.1 in the first two days of availability.

ios6-users1
We've since followed up with Onswipe to see how the share of users on iOS 6.1 has moved over the past several days, and the firm tells us that it is now seeing over 26% of users running iOS 6.1 just four days after its debut.

Onswipe CEO Jason Baptiste noted earlier this week that the rapid rate of adoption for iOS 6.1, which appears to be the fastest in history for Apple, is likely due to user comfort with the company's over-the-air updates, introduced with iOS 5 in October 2011.

The rapid uptake of iOS updates contrasts strongly with Android devices, where mobile networks are responsible for updates and just 10% of users are on the latest Jelly Bean versions, first introduced last July. The majority of Android users are still using Gingerbread, which dates to December 2010, or earlier versions of the operating system.
While iOS 6.1 brought several widely publicized new features such as support for several dozen new LTE carriers and new support for ordering Fandango movie tickets through Siri in the United States, a number of other minor changes were also included in the update. Given the frequency with which our readers have been pointing some of them out, we thought it would be appropriate to make note of them in a brief roundup.

- Lock screen music controls: The music controls on the iPhone's lock screen have been enhanced as noted by TUAW, bringing them in line with those in the Music app.

music
music-prev
The shortcut controls, accessed by pressing the home button twice while on the lock screen, have adopted both the look and layout of the Music app. One notable change is that the previous and next buttons are now much further apart from the play/pause button, making them much less likely to be pressed accidentally.

The volume knob also copies the Music app's visual trick of using the phone's accelerometer to vary the angle of virtual reflections on it.

- Maps "Report a Problem" button: Apple has tweaked the "Report a Problem" button in its Maps app, accessible in the preferences section by tapping at the lower right corner of the map page. The option had previously been a small text link, but Apple has now made it a much more prominent and accessible button which is actually now the largest button on the page.

maps_report_problem_button
- Rapid diagonal swiping issue improved: Several readers have noted that an issue with rapid diagonal swiping on the iPhone 5 and fifth-generation iPod touch resulting in loss of touch recognition appears to have been fixed or at least improved in iOS 6.1. Not all readers have experienced improvements, however, with some indicating that performance remains the same under iOS 6.1.