Rumors of a new iPod Touch started popping up early this year and some expected that we might see it this Spring when the new iPads Air and Mini arrived. However, that event came and went with new iPads and new AirPods, but no new Touch.
Apple always keeps to its own schedule with little regard for what the rest of the world thinks. As such, with the big WWDC Keynote now less than a week away, Apple has dropped a refreshed iPod Touch out of the clear, blue sky. This is the first upgrade the old iOS standby has received since 2015.
So what’s new? Frankly, not a whole lot. The processor has been bumped to an A10, which is a big improvement. However, that is the same processor as the iPhone 7, which is closing in on three years old. It will run the latest OS, including the coming iOS 13, and it can handle newer features like Group FaceTime and ARKit games, so it is worthy of the device, especially at such a reasonable price of $199.
Beyond an option for 256 GB of local storage, that’s about it. No TouchID. The screen is still just 4″. The cameras are still quite dated. Ironically, it even has a headphone jack. Apple has left the iPod Touch mostly frozen in time in the interest of price.
So what is the purpose of the new iPod Touch? That’s easy. It’s still a perfect introductory iOS device for kids and those not looking to spend a lot of money for a music, podcast, video and app machine. Also, guess what’s front and center on Apple’s new page for the Touch- Apple Arcade. This little device is the perfect inexpensive vehicle for their new gaming subscription service.
So what should we expect from the new iPod Touch? Not too much. After a little fanfare today, this device will resume its perpetual role as a secondary device in the long shadows of the iPhone, iPad and now the Apple Watch. However, it still fills an important niche for Apple as an inexpensive on ramp to the world of iOS. It’s good to see Apple showing old standby devices like the iPad Mini and iPod Touch some love rather than killing them off.