Archive of iPod Rumors

The Apple Online Store was taken offline moments ago ahead of an expected refresh to the iPod touch, iPod nano and iPod shuffle lineup of portable media players. The sixth-generation iPod touch will likely feature a 64-bit processor, new colors and other hardware improvements, while the iPod nano and iPod shuffle are expected to be released in new colors only.

iPods Well Be Back
iPods discovered in unreleased colors (left) and Apple Store down (right)

iPods in unreleased colors were first spotted in iTunes 12.2 earlier this month, including a darker blue for the iPod touch, a new gold color for the iPod nano and a brighter pink color for the iPod shuffle. MacRumors subsequently discovered a full lineup of six new colors for the iPod touch, nano and shuffle hidden within iTunes resource files, including silver, space gray, red, bright pink, deep blue and light gold.
Insider inventory constraint information from major retailer Target hints at some possible end of life timelines for various products like the iPod, iPad mini 2, and iPad Air, many of which may be discontinued in the near future following the launch of new products.

According to a screenshot of an internal inventory system shared by a Target employee, all models of the iPod are currently constrained by Apple ahead of a rumored update that could come as soon as tomorrow.

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Images of unreleased iPod touches, nanos, and shuffles were first discovered hidden within iTunes 12.2, and a rumor has suggested the iPod touch could receive a processor upgrade and new color options while the nano and the shuffle might be available in new colorways.

As for the iPad mini 2 and the iPad Air, replenishment of existing stock is currently constrained, with Target aiming to have 1 color in stock at each of its stores. Dwindling in-store stock suggests Apple could be planning to discontinue the iPad mini 2 and the iPad Air following the release of new models, which is expected to happen in the fall.

The iPad mini 2 and the iPad Air may be replaced by the iPad mini 3 and the iPad Air 2 as lower-cost older-generation models following the launch of a third-generation iPad Air and a fourth-generation iPad mini. We haven't heard much on what a third-generation iPad Air might offer, but an A9 processor and Force Touch are solid guesses.

A fourth-generation iPad mini has been rumored to be in the works, with an iPad Air-style redesign that eliminates the mute switch and introduces larger speaker holes. An updated iPad mini would also likely incorporate a much-improved processor, more RAM, and possibly Force Touch.

It is not clear when Apple plans to introduce new iPad mini and iPad Air models, but Target's guess of fall 2015 is a safe bet. For the last several years, Apple has updated its iPad lineup in October or November, and that's when we're likely to see new iPads in 2015. This year's iPad update may include an all new model, the much-rumored larger-screened iPad Pro.
Apple will announce a refreshed lineup of iPod touch, iPod nano and iPod shuffle portable media players around July 14, according to usually reliable French website iGen.fr. The report claims the new iPod touch (codenamed "N102") should be a more significant update, likely including a bump to a 64-bit A-based processor, while the iPod nano ("N31A") and iPod shuffle ("N12D") may be refreshed with new colors only.

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iPods in unreleased colors spotted in iTunes 12.2 earlier this month

iPods in unreleased colors were spotted in iTunes 12.2 earlier this month, including a darker blue for the iPod touch, a new gold or beige color for the iPod nano and a brighter pink color for the iPod shuffle. Notably, a few eagle-eyed readers noticed that the Calendar app on the iPod touch displays "Tuesday" and "14," which lines up with Tuesday, July 14 and information shared by iGen.fr's sources.

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MacRumors discovered a full lineup of six new iPod colors

MacRumors subsequently discovered a full lineup of six new colors for the iPod touch, nano and shuffle hidden within iTunes resource files, including silver, space gray, red, bright pink, deep blue and light gold. Beyond new colors, storage capacities and other minor changes, Apple last updated the iPod touch and iPod nano in October 2012 and the iPod shuffle in September 2010.

Update 1 PM Pacific: iPod touch shipping times have slipped to 3-5 business days on the Apple Online Store in the U.S. and Canada.
As we reported this morning, astute iPod owners with iTunes 12.2 have discovered an image that depicts the iPod touch, nano, and shuffle in new colors, suggesting an update could be in the works. A bit more digging around in iTunes 12.2 has unearthed additional iPod images, giving us a look at each of the new color options we might see should Apple be planning to release new models.

The images depict six different color options for the iPod nano, shuffle, and touch, showing each model in silver, space gray, red, bright pink, deep blue, and light gold. The latter three colors, pink, blue, and gold, are new shades that are not currently available. The space gray model may be slightly darker than the existing color, but it's difficult to determine from images alone.

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Aside from new color options, the devices appear to be largely the same, except perhaps for an external change for the iPod touch that does away with the attachment for the wrist loop. It is not clear if Apple plans to update the internals of the devices or if the company is simply going to introduce new color options, but the images make it clear that a potential update is not going to feature a major external redesign.

Apple's iPod lineup has not seen new color additions since 2013, due to a sharp decline in sales over the past several years. The last update saw Apple change the "slate" color to "space gray" in September of 2013, and no major color changes have been made since that date.

The Calendar app on the iPod touch in the images reads "Tuesday 14," leading some of our readers to speculate that Apple might plan to introduce new models on Tuesday, July 14, which is two weeks from now.
Following the release of iTunes 12.2 with Apple Music support yesterday, one MacRumors user has discovered graphics depicting iPods in colors not currently offered by Apple. The composite image of an iPod touch, nano, and shuffle is shown when setting up or restoring an iPod in iTunes.

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The new colors include a darker blue for the iPod touch, a new gold or beige color for the iPod nano, and a brighter pink color for the iPod shuffle.

Apple has not updated its iPod color lineup in several years, most recently shifting the previous "slate" color to "space gray" back in 2013. Apple has typically updated its iPod lineup during the month of September, although it is unclear whether these new colors are actually in the works and what their release timeframe might be.

Update: Several observers have pointed to the Calendar icon on the iPod touch screenshot showing a date of Tuesday the 14th, leading to speculation the new models could launch on Tuesday, July 14. Readers have also noticed the new image does not depict a wrist strap attachment post as seen in the lower left corner of the current models.

(Thanks, iPhone.Freak!)
ipod-touch-selection-hero-2014Apple is expected to announce a new iPod touch later this year, according to AppleInsider. The report, citing a source familiar with the plans, claims that the refreshed portable media player will likely have a similar design as the current model released over two-and-a-half years ago, and speculates that the next-generation device could have camera and processor improvements.

Apple has not refreshed the iPod touch since October 2012, when the portable media player was updated with an ultra-thin and colorful design, A5 processor and Lightning connector. iPod sales have been declining for several years, becoming a largely insignificant part of Apple's product lineup, anchored by the iPhone, iPad and Mac. The company no longer discloses iPod sales in its quarterly results after reporting 2.9 million units sold in Q4 2014.

The report is entirely speculative about possible new features the next-generation iPod touch could have, including a 64-bit A7 processor, increased storage space, and improved iSight and FaceTime cameras. Additionally, it would make sense for the new iPod touch to support Apple Pay, which would require locked down NFC capabilities and a Touch ID fingerprint scanner. Beats-related features could also be in store following Apple's $3 billion acquisition of the company in May 2014.

If the report proves accurate, Apple could announce its next-generation iPod touch during its iPhone event in September or iPad event in October that it typically holds each year. It is also possible that Apple may quietly update the iPod touch through a press release or website update, given that iPods are no longer as significant for Apple.
Earlier this month, the iPod shuffle's shipping estimates slipped to 7-10 days in the United States, Europe and other regions, leading to speculation as to whether the portable media player would soon be discontinued or was going through reported supplier changes. Today, we are beginning to see a clearer picture.

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For now, it appears that the iPod shuffle will continue to live on. iGen.fr was first to notice today that shipping times for the iPod shuffle have improved to 5-7 days on the Apple Online Store in the United Kingdom, France, Germany and some other European countries. The improved shipping times are not reflected in the United States or Canada storefronts yet, which still display shipping estimates of 7-10 days.

While demand for the iPod shuffle has been overshadowed by devices such as the iPhone and iPod touch, the portable media player remains a convenient and affordable option for incorporating into a daily workout routine or similar. The current fourth-generation iPod shuffle with front-facing media controls was introduced in 2010 and has not been updated since outside of a few color changes.
Earlier this week, it was observed that Apple's retail stores were running short of iPod shuffle units, leading to speculation about whether the shortages were just a temporary blip in Apple's supply chain management or if they were a sign of an impending discontinuation of the diminutive music player. The iPod shuffle's only updates since September 2010 have been occasional changes to color options, opening the door to questions and speculation about the device's fate.

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According to Billboard, however, the iPod shuffle shortages are indeed just a temporary issue related to component supplies.
Rather than being discontinued, however, sources with knowledge of the situation tell Billboard that Apple is actually going thorough component supplier changes that have interrupted production of the Shuffle.

Apple declined to comment.
Supplies of the iPod shuffle remain tight, with Apple's online stores generally quoting shipping estimates of 7-10 business days for all colors. Some of the company's retail stores do have stock of some colors, but many others show the device as unavailable with Apple offering to have units shipped to the stores for customer pickup.

As the iPod market has declined with customers opting to use smartphones for their music needs, Apple's investments in the family have declined and product cycles have lengthened. As a result, it is unclear what Apple's longer-term plans are for the future of the iPod, particularly the iPod shuffle and iPod nano that are more limited in their capabilities than the iOS-based iPod touch.
Apple this week is battling a decade-old class-action lawsuit by iPod owners angry that their media players were locked to Apple's iTunes ecosystem. Key pieces of evidence in the trial include email conversations among Apple executives and a videotaped deposition of Steve Jobs, both of which were made public for the first time this week as part of the court proceedings.

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According to CNN Money and Reuters, the question-and-answer session with Steve Jobs focused on Apple's response to RealNetworks and its Harmony music service. In 2004, RealNetworks created this competing music service that allowed users to download songs and play them on any media device, including the iPod.

RealNetworks' iPod support incensed Apple, which published a press release accusing RealNetworks of hacking the iPod. Apple adopted this strategy following a series of emails between Apple marketing head Phil Schiller and CEO Steve Jobs.
"How's this?" Jobs wrote. "We are stunned that Real is adopting the tactics and ethics of a hacker and breaking into the iPod."

"I like likening them to hackers," Apple marketing chief Philip Schiller responded.
When asked if this response to RealNetworks was "strong and vehement," Jobs replied, "They don't sound too angry to me when I read them," adding that, "A strong response from Apple would be a lawsuit."

During the deposition, Jobs reportedly was snarky, asking "Do they still exist?" when referring to RealNetworks. Jobs also was evasive in his testimony, responding 74 times with "I don't remember," "I don't know" or "I don't recall."

When he did answer questions, Jobs painted Apple as a company being held hostage by the major music labels, which required digital rights management (DRM) on iTunes music as part of their contract terms. Apple claimed it had to repeatedly update iTunes to patch holes in its DRM or risk forfeiting these contracts.

The class action case started earlier this week and is being heard in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California. Apple marketing head Phil Schiller and senior vice president of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue are expected to testify as part of the ongoing court proceedings.
Apple this week is scheduled to appear in court and face accusations that it deliberately crippled competing music services and players in an iPod class action lawsuit from 2005, reports The New York Times. The trial will feature testimony from Steve Jobs, whose emails and a videotaped deposition taken before his death will play an important part in the plaintiffs' case.

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The complaint focuses on Apple's older iPod models, which only supported music purchased on iTunes and songs downloaded from CDs. Also being disputed is Apple's FairPlay system of encoding purchased music, which limited music playback to the iPod and not competing MP3 players. In the suit, consumers claim Apple violated antitrust law by deliberately limiting interoperability with competitors, while exclusively promoting its products and services.

The email testimony is expected to paint Steve Jobs as an aggressive businessman who worked hard to ensure the success of the iPod and iTunes. This success often came at the expense of smaller competitors, which were not allowed to connect to Apple's popular iPod ecosystem. In one already released email, Jobs addresses Apple's lack of support for the-then upcoming MusicMatch music store.
"We need to make sure that when Music Match launches their download music store they cannot use iPod," he wrote. "Is this going to be an issue?"
Part of the case also involves Apple's interactions with RealNetworks, which devised a workaround in 2004 that allowed content from its music store to be played on the iPod. In an angry statement released to the media, Apple accused RealNetworks of hacking the iPod and threatened to disable this functionality in future iPod software updates.

To counteract Jobs' testimony, Apple is expected to argue that updates to the iPod and iTunes were designed to improve the platform for the consumer and not cripple competing devices. The company also likely will point out that the price of the iPod has gone down over the years, despite Apple's alleged monopolistic behavior.
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.