Is Apple really making a new iPod Touch? And if it is, who would buy it?

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
Is Apple really making a new iPod Touch? And if it is, who would buy it?
Apple is one of the biggest tech companies and the rumor mill for its products never stops running. And while most of the leaks that we see fit into Apple’s grand scheme quite well, there are some recent ones that leave us pondering. We’re talking about the alleged iPod Touch 7th generation that Apple may or may not be working on.

We’re not going to speculate if Apple will release a new iPod Touch, instead, we’ll assume that it is and speculate what the target demographic for it will be in 2019. But first, a bit more about the iPod Touch itself.

The iPod is, of course, Apple’s iconic music player. The “Touch” part came when the company added a touch screen to the device and the ability to use almost all iOS apps on it. So by design, it is basically just an iPhone without the ability to make phone calls, which makes plenty of people wonder why it exists at all (and it still does!).

Apple is currently selling the iPod Touch that was released in 2015. It has an outdated design, a tiny (for today’s standards) 4-inch display and its A8 chip is far weaker than the A12 you can find on iPhones today. Yet despite that, the 128GB version will still set you back $300. 
Those bezels are from another era

Those bezels are from another era

To get a better idea of how long ago it was released, it was before Apple decided to remove the headphone jack. That’s something quite fundamental for an iPod. Or is it?

With the popularity AirPods have now and Apple including headphones with a Lightning port in iPhone boxes for years, it’s very likely that a new iPod Touch will come without a 3.5mm jack as well. So why exactly would you get an iPod Touch then? There seems to be no apparent reason.

Times are changing, as they say, and soon there might be not one, but several reasons for such a device to exist. We know from multiple reports that Apple’s services are becoming more and more profitable each year while iPhone sales are somewhat stagnant. And in just a couple of weeks, Apple is hosting a Special Event with all signs pointing that it will include the announcements of even more services. The main suspect is a video streaming service with included original content, but rumors also hint that there might be a game subscription service and one for news/articles as well.

That’s a lot of media to consume! Suddenly, a device dedicated to doing just that doesn’t sound so far fetched. But still, the fact is that iPhones (and smartphones in general) are a thing, so who would the new iPod Touch be for? Time to get into the heads of Apple executives and figure out what’s the target market for this misfit.

Option 1: Android users


Don’t pull out your crosses and holy water just yet! Hear me out! I know for most people owning both an Android and an iOS device is blasphemy, but we must think clearly for a minute. Who might want to have access to the original content Apple is exclusively providing on its platforms but doesn’t need a phone? That’s right, Android users!

You'd have to keep them in separate pockets just in case

You'd have to keep them in separate pockets just in case

Perhaps Apple is envisioning the iPod Touch as a gateway device to the world of Apple services. A common complain Android fans have when it comes to Apple is how overpriced its products are. Granted, the iPod Touch might fall into this category as well, but with the specs reduction we’re likely to see compared to iPhones, it should cost at least a few hundred dollars less than them.

Still, $350 (hypothetical price) might be too much for a media player with just a 6-inch or so display. But let’s not forget that Apple is starting to be more open, Samsung and Sony TVs are now coming with integrated iTunes movies and TV shows and it’s not unimaginable to think that the next iPod Touch will have AirPlay 2, allowing you to stream content to any TV that supports the feature, essentially replacing the Apple TV.

After all, the ecosystem is Apple’s biggest hook that keeps users from switching sides. Offering an affordable device that gives access to it without having to cheapen its iPhones might be just what it needs to lure over Android users that are on the fence.

Option 2: Kids


For better or worse kids these days are being raised with a smart device in their hands. However, they are not the best at keeping gadgets intact, to say the least. It’s no surprise that one of Amazon’s most sold tablets is one meant for kids with extra protection and replacement guarantee.

A phone-sized device is a lot easier to protect against dropping, throwing and other sorts of abuse it might face in the hands of a kid. It will be a good fit for the period between the time a child wants a phone and the time the parent decides it’s okay to get one. Of course, you can argue they can always give them an old iPhone without a SIM card and that’s true but sometimes getting the device new is also a factor.

The number of kids that want an iPhone from Santa is shocking

The number of kids that want an iPhone from Santa is shocking

And again, let’s not forget the exclusive content. Apple has plenty of money to spend on self produced shows. It will probably take time to get things running, but we all know how adamant kids can be about the things they want to watch. If Apple buys the right franchise, it can become a gold mine.

Option 3: Frequent travelers


Obviously, we’re getting down to the more niche use cases but as I said at the start, there aren’t many potential buyers of the iPod Touch to begin with. People who travel frequently or just spend lots of time away from desks and other convenient places to charge your device often face battery anxiety. For all the advancements we’ve seen in tech, batteries seem to still be one of the weakest points of our smartphones.

And yes, you can get a battery case or a power bank, but with a second device, you can actually have true multitasking since, you know, iPhones don’t have split-screen (yet). This means you can watch a movie without worrying that you’re draining your phone’s battery too fast while at the same time answer texts or emails without interrupting the playback.

An iPod Touch and an iPhone XS might be a good combo for some (don't judge my mock up skills)

An iPod Touch and an iPhone XS might be a good combo for some (don't judge my mock up skills)

The iPod Touch is also a lot more portable than an iPad, you can even keep it in your pocket, without it taking away precious space from your carry-on bag. Sure, having two nearly identical devices might be overkill, but if you have the need for a second one anyway, the iPod Touch would be the ideal solution.

Option 4: The elderly


You want to make your grandparents part of team “blue text bubble”, or just be able to FaceTime them if texting isn’t their thing? But you’d rather keep them away from a regular phone because they keep receiving robocalls with various “tempting” offers? The iPod Touch might be the perfect device in that case. Sure, it still needs an internet connection, but who doesn’t have Wi-Fi at home these days? Add to that the affordability (relative to other Apple products, of course) of the iPod Touch and the whole entertainment/exclusive content factor and you have a pretty solid justification to go for one instead of an iPhone.

Now, let’s be clear, even with the added benefits of whatever new services Apple is planning to launch, the iPod Touch will always be a hard sell. But it’s not an impossible one. It might be the closest thing we’ll ever get to a cheap iPhone. And while the millions that already have an iPhone might laugh at the idea of having one, we shouldn’t forget that even in the States more than half of smartphone users are on Android. A new iPod Touch could be the wedge that helps Apple separate a portion of them.

What do you think? Is that an Apple product you'd like to see? Vote in the poll below!

Should Apple make a new iPod Touch?

Yes, there's a market for it!
63.17%
No, the iPod Touch is a thing of the past!
36.83%

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34 Comments

1. darkkjedii

Posts: 30497; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Waste of time.

3. blingblingthing

Posts: 708; Member since: Oct 23, 2012

Waste of time? Isn't this a part of the fabled ecosystem Apple fans boast of?

17. scarface21173

Posts: 577; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

Apple need a cheap product, this could be it. They need to sell there all important services. This is a cheap way of doing it.

19. sgtdisturbed47

Posts: 951; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

There are plenty of people that still buy iPod Touch. Hand a kid an old iPhone 6 and it can still make 911 calls, even without a SIM, so it's better for a kid to play with a device that can't call 911 on accident. There are also those that want to do physical work with headphones but don't want to trash their phone. Certainly not a 'waste of time" for everyone.

23. Mike88

Posts: 51; Member since: Mar 05, 2019

Idk how people think,, having the ability of calling 911 is better than not having it

26. cncrim

Posts: 1517; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

I know, iPhone can do much better and more, matter of fact it cheaper too.

2. hemedans

Posts: 744; Member since: Jun 01, 2013

If its cheap enough i see market for gamers too. Imagine power of apple soc in around $200 bucks

32. Marcwand3l

Posts: 370; Member since: May 08, 2017

What SOC are you talking about? For 200$ a Redmi Note 7 Pro does just fine in gaming and it's a full phone.

33. hemedans

Posts: 744; Member since: Jun 01, 2013

For example iphone se is still faster than newer snapdragon 675 in single core score and way better in graphics.

4. RocketDoc

Posts: 5; Member since: Jul 24, 2018

Until quite recently most phones didn't have sufficient storage for a decent music collection in addition to apps and data, and large SD cards were expensive even if you had a slot to use one. The old iPod Touch hasn't had its price lowered sufficiently commensurate with its capabilities, though, and it lacks more than just the cell radio--it doesn't have GPS so it's not as useful as a dedicated automobile peripheral. Now I can't see much use case, although if enough upgrades came at the same max price of $299, which I doubt, I might talk myself into one.

13. surethom

Posts: 1535; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

Untill recently virtually all android phones accepted Sd card storage so had plenty. It was just apple that has small.storage untill recently.

27. RocketDoc

Posts: 5; Member since: Jul 24, 2018

Yes, I am an Android phone user, although I prefer certain iPod models as music players because of better built-in DACs, and because they interface better with my current car's infotainment system--I expect that will change with my next car. And to reiterate, *until recently*, SD cards of sufficient capacity for my music collection were prohibitively expensive, which has changed except that my current phone does *not* have an SD card slot and only 128gb of internal storage, which is not nearly sufficient. Life is too short to keep reloading a different subset of music every couple weeks; I want 1 device with all my music, preferably stored in my car which is where I listen to music most of the time when not at home.

5. UnlimitedSkye03

Posts: 261; Member since: Apr 27, 2012

hhmmmm, well I think if it'll be marketed more as a gaming device it'll sell but then again I would prefer a new iPad Mini over this.

6. deventorres

Posts: 2; Member since: Jun 11, 2018

Apple doesn’t own Pixar, Disney does.

8. Rampage_Taco

Posts: 970; Member since: Jan 17, 2017

Right? it's not even like there was a typo, they backed up the statement and all.

18. sgtdisturbed47

Posts: 951; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

Who said anything about Pixar?

20. deventorres

Posts: 2; Member since: Jun 11, 2018

They had mentioned that apple owned Pixar in the kids section of the article, but it looks like the author took it out.

28. georgi.z

Posts: 6; Member since: Aug 07, 2018

I did. Thank you for pointing out my mistake! It appears I wasn't up to date with Pixar's affairs.

29. Rager722

Posts: 580; Member since: Jan 30, 2013

Why do you guys always rate the iPhone 9.3 and any Android phone can never pass 9.0?

7. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3925; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

The iPod touch is essentially in the same category as the iPad but in phone size. I say this because they target similar people, I have an iPad because I think having another device to use for things like gaming and other stuff besides communicating with others is essential, everyone needs a side device, you might not think that but If you had one you'd love it and wonder how you ever got by without having. I'm a practical person as well, I do think everyone needs a "side device" but I also think the price of said device should be well under flagship prices (I paid $269 for my 32GB iPad 6th gen, was a deal but I don't think the standard $329 is bad) yet have similar performance, iPods are for people like me who want a second device but something not as good perhaps screen wise and camera wise but the performance is good and so is the battery life when compared to more expensive options, oh and of course want a smaller device instead of a tablet. This new iPod needs at least the A10 chip, 64gbs and 2gbs of ram for $300 to be a good buy, if they use the A11 then $350(Apple will probably disappoint but considering that the iPad 6th gen starts at $329 with the A10, 32gbs, and 2gbs ram I just don't see how they can justify making it cost more if the internals are similar given the size difference, unless it has a great camera or something and the A11 with no 32gb option. I'm interested to see what combo of hardware they use and how it compares to the 6th gen iPad in that regard as well as price since I kinda just image the new iPod as a smaller version of the 6th gen iPad in my head lol.

9. NewroticSlob

Posts: 178; Member since: May 09, 2013

I use my iPod at work with a speaker while keeping my phone in my pocket. If I walk away with my phone, I'll lose connection. It's just easier and allows me to keep my phone on me.

10. kennybenny

Posts: 171; Member since: Apr 10, 2017

I'm hoping for an updated iPod touch as a replacement for my iPad mini 2. I know this is no tablet or iPad but it can satisfy my urge for a newer iOS device (mainly a Android user) and to upgrade from the mini 2 if priced reasonably. (Under $250 CAD)

11. raky_b

Posts: 355; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Android user here. I would buy it today....iPod is best product that Apple had. IPad is best tablet too, but to expensive for what it is(to me,since I don't have any need for tablet). Thing is, it should have great battery life (at least double as iPhones) and AUDIO jack. Yes I do have Momentum 2 wireless, and they are great...but not uneven close to my OPPO PM1

14. kennybenny

Posts: 171; Member since: Apr 10, 2017

Agreed! Have a iPad mini 2 and a old iPod touch 5, (Android user here too) if Apple releases a updated model of the iPod touch I would snap up one as it would satisfy my urge to upgrade.

12. drunkenjay

Posts: 1579; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

for people who use cheap phones, i can understand them using a touch but not people who buy flagship models. its a waste of money.

15. Mike88

Posts: 51; Member since: Mar 05, 2019

I have an iPhone XS and an iPad pro 2018,, I also have an apple watch with beats wireless speakers...I don't think I'll ever need an ipod touch for any reason... People who need a music player and apple device can go for older versions of iphones...no one needs an ipod anymore

16. shortkey

Posts: 43; Member since: May 19, 2017

Why the hell would I ever buy an mp3 player with a screen bigger than 4 inches? Anything larger than that and it becomes tedious and uncomfortable to handle, when all it's actually doing is playing music. Simply put, it's an overkill. I could use the same logic to smartphones, as nobody actually needs a 5"+ device for anything. A smartphone is supposed to be used comfortably with one hand, which just isn't possible with anything beyond 5.5 inches, and 6 inches are just ridiculous. MAKE SMARTPHONES COMPACT AGAIN

21. wickedwilly

Posts: 449; Member since: Sep 19, 2018

A Phone over 6" is essential for me, I prefer larger fonts, bigger keyboard keys and more info on the screen at the very least. With UI's that are designed for bigger screens and customization that allows for efficient positioning and easier access one-handed use is possible. To say larger phones are ridiculous is not taking into account anyone's needs other than your own.

24. Mike88

Posts: 51; Member since: Mar 05, 2019

Or you need a bigger number spectacles if you need big phones for reading

30. shortkey

Posts: 43; Member since: May 19, 2017

This. I used to read on a 2.2" dumbphone in Opera Mini with no problems back in the day. He ought to check his eyesight. My hands aren't that small either but that didn't stop me from typing on a full qwerty on a 2.8". Granted, it was resistive display, so a tad longer fingernails made it easier, but still. People need to quit being spoiled brats by hueg screens.

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