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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.